Wednesday, September 23, 2015


By Will Hoover

Week two is in the books and there’s another fresh crop of talent on the waiver wire. Perhaps you’re

needing to patch your roster or just looking for the next potential break out fantasy star. Either way you

should consider the players listed below because fantasy owners are going to feast on these juicy

prospects in week 3. Below players are listed by name, position, percentage of ownership (in ESPN

leagues) and week 3 opponent.

1) Andy Dalton: QB, 21.1% ownership, WK3 @ BALT

The Red Rifle is back. In the past two weeks Andy Dalton has been on fire throwing 5 tds to 0 ints with

483 yards. The solid run game and Stifling defense of the Bengals have taken some pressure off of

Dalton. This week Dalton faces the Baltimore Ravens who in week 2 gave up 351 yards and 3 tds to

Derrek Carr and the Oakland Raiders. If you’re in need of a quarterback (Tony Romo + Drew Brees

owners) Dalton should be first on your list.

2) Matt Jones: RB, 15.8% ownership, WK3 @ NYG

The Redskins coaching staff have been big on Matt Jones since drafting him with the 95th pick in the third

round of the 2015 NFL draft. The 6’2”, 231lb running back frustrated Alfred Morris owners last week

when he sniped 19 carries for 123 yards and 2 tds. Jones will get more touches than Roy Helu ever did

and if he proves to be effective he’ll continue to eat into Alfred Morris production. Now remember the

Redskins we’re playing with a lead and ran the ball 47 times which won’t always be the case this year.

Add Jones and hope for continued success.

3) David Johnson: RB, 46.1% ownership, WK3 vs SF

Rookie running back David Johnson makes the list for the second straight week. While he may not be

named the starter the Cardinals would be foolish to not involve this young playmaker more often. In his

limited touches 1 rec for 55 yards and a TD in week one along with 5 rush 42 yards plus a TD returned on

the opening kickoff in week 2. There’s no way Johnson can keep up this pace without seeing more snaps.

This dynamic playmaker has the size (6’1”, 224lbs) and speed (4.5 forty) to be an every down player

once he gains the trust of Cardinals coach Bruce Arians. Add Johnson and watch him become a big part

of Arizona’s offense this year.

4) Travis Benjamin: WR, 6.3% ownership, WK3 vs OAK

After a career high 89 yards and 1 touchdown in week one Benjamin (a deep pass specialist) set new

highs with 115 yards and 2 TDs in week 2. That’s an incredible 304 yards and 3 TDs on 6 catches over the

past two games. While he seems like a boom or bust candidate, this week he looks to keep it booming.

The Browns face the Raiders in week 3 and there should be plenty of opportunity to expose the Raiders

depleted secondary. A bonus is that Benjamin is one of the league’s top kick/punt specialists and can

score points any week on special teams. Add Benjamin for WR depth and consider starting him this


5) Eric Ebron: TE, 20% ownership, WK3 vs DEN

Eric Ebron is showing why the Lions drafted him with the 10th pick in last year’s draft. So far this year

Ebron has emerged as a legitimate red zone threat for the Lions. His 10 targets last week show that he’s

become a bigger part of the Lions offense. Add Ebron if you’re looking to roster a new tight end whose

going to score steady points all season long.

6) Michael Crabtree: WR, 31.6% ownership, WK3 @ CLEV

Many thought Michael Crabtree was done being a fantasy relevant wide receiver. His production drop

off was partly the 49ers fault along with is poor attitude leading to him being labeled as a diva. Most

teams weren’t willing to gamble on Crabtree but the Raiders had faith in him and gave him a chance.

Last week it paid off when Crabtree had 9 recs, 111 yds, and a touchdown versus the Ravens. While

Amari Copper is drawing opposing defenses attention Crabtree will the opportunity to put up stats

versus most teams second defensive back. Also figure the Raiders will be playing from behind often this

year giving Crabtree plenty of targets. Add Crabtree for WR depth with starter potential.

7) James Starks: RB, 8.3% ownership, WK3 vs KC

James Starks will be more involved in the coming weeks with Packers starting RB Eddie Lacy’s ankle

sprain. It’s yet to be determined if Lacy will miss any time but Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said

he could see a 50/50 split until Lacy is 100%. Starks is a better fit in the Packers offense on passing

situations where he can use his receiving ability to run routes or to be a safety valve in the flat for QB

Aaron Rodgers. Add Starks for RB depth and as a possible flex play. Monitor Edie Lacy’s status before

starting Starks.

8) Rishard Matthews: WR, .7% ownership, WK3 vs BUFF

Rishard Matthews has been starting at WR for the Dolphins although being listed as a backup. Matthews

has made big plays both weeks for the Dolphins and is a nice option opposite Jarvis Landry. Since

Matthews was a late round draft pick (7th round) not many fans know much about him. Originally

Matthews committed to Oregon but ended up playing for Nevada in college and catching passes from

Colin Kaepernick. Since being drafted Matthews has often spent Sundays de-activated, so this season

seems to be his break out. Add Matthews for WR depth and hopes of a continued success.

9) Derrek Carr: QB, 10.5% ownership, WK3 @ CLEV

Derrek Carr had a nice bounce back game in week 2 throwing for 351 yards and 3 TDs. Last year Carr

flashed but was week to week on production. This year Carr has legitimate weapons in Amari Cooper,

Michael Crabtree and running back Latavius Murray. These weapons will help Carr avoid those low

scoring weeks and give him a better chance of putting up solid numbers weekly. Carr is a nice option as

a bye week fill in or if you own Romo or Brees and need a new QB to get you through their injuries. Add

Carr and hope for more games like week 2.

Good Luck and follow me on twitter @UGsportsreport

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fantasy Football Surprises for Week 1 of the 2015 NFL Season


The first week of the 2015 NFL season wrapped up with a double header on Monday Night Football. As we start to look back at this first week the action provided us with some big time performances as well as some big time surprises. This comes both in the record book as well as in the fantasy stat sheets!
One of those surprises took place during the 1pm ET games as the Seattle Seahawks fell to the St. Louis Rams in overtime. Entering this matchup the Seahawks were one of those teams that many experts had running away with the NFC West in route to another trip to the Super Bowl. In the end the Rams used a botched defensive play from the Rams as Cary Williams fell down on the game tying touchdown to find a way to pick up a week 1 win.
The next big surprise came from both the box score as well as the fantasy side of the industry as Marcus Mariota led his Tennessee Titans to a blow out win in week 1. That matchup was against fellow 2015 NFL draft pick and number one over pick Jameis Winston. In the end the Titans walked away with a 42-14 win on the road as Mariota finished connecting on 13 of 16 passes for 209 yards to go along with four touchdowns.
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On Monday Night Football the football world witnessed multiple surprise including a 26-24 win by the Atlanta Falcons over the Philadelphia Eagles. Much like the Seahawks the Eagles were an early favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl in the end the Falcons limited the Eagles rushing attack to just 63 yards on 16 carries while hold DeMarco Murray to just nine yards on eight carries.
Just a few hours later the San Francisco 49ers picked up a 20-3 win at home over the Minnesota Vikings. This game was one of those games that remind us you can never write off a team in the NFL despite having a bad offseason. In this game the guy many had as the fantasy stud of the week Adrian Peterson was limited to just 31 yards on 10 carries while Carlos Hyde led a 49ers rushing attack that racked up 230 yards on the ground.
Hyde finished with 168 yards on 26 carries along with two touchdowns to pace the 49ers offense. The other big time surprise from week 1 includes a lackluster offensive performance from both the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos as they faced off in a defensive battle.
Now that week 1 is in the books we turn our attention to the second week of the 2015 NFL season. As we star to look at this weeks lineup of games the first game we turn our attention to is the Thursday Night contest between AFC West rivals the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. For many fantasy owners the question entering this contest is whether or not Peyton Manning will have a big time fantasy performance against another stellar defense.
In the end Manning is one of those quarterbacks to avoid in week 2 despite being one of the top fantasy options entering the season. As far as a few other games to watch in week 2 from a fantasy perspective as well as a contest that could see a ton of offense includes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles. All of these contests should be entertaining games with a ton of offense to spread around.
From the other side a few games that will be more of a defensive battle that fantasy owners might want to avoid include the Indianapolis Colts taking on the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots on the road taking on the Buffalo Bills.
One player to keep an eye on is Marcus Mariota as he looks to continue his rookie success in week 2 against a Cleveland Browns team that struggled in week 1 on both sides of the ball. Other fantasy stars to watch in week 2 include Ameer Abdullah for the Detroit Lions, Marshawn Lynch for the Seattle Seahawks, Matt Ryan for the Atlanta Falcons as well as Julio Jones.
As far as a few big time surprises for the second week of the 2015 NFL to watch for includes a big time fantasy performance from Joe Flacco, the Patriots on upset alert at Ralph Wilson Stadium and struggles from a few of the big fantasy quarterbacks as they face off against top tier defenses.
In all we would all love to be able to predict the next big fantasy performance or all 16 wins each week. Unfortunately that isn’t the case so it reels us in to watch another exciting week of NFL football as we slowly move towards Super Bowl 50.


By Will Hoover

Already after week one many owners can tell they don’t have the depth they’d hoped for after their

draft. For some it’s due to poor performance, for others it was unfortunate injuries. There were some

big names injured in the NFL this past week so they’re replacements should be hot on the wire. This

week’s list features some young upcoming talent and some old names I never thought would be on this

list this early in the season. Some players may be considered plug and play while others should be added

to your bench as prospects. Below I’ll list my players by name, position, percentage owned (ESPN

leagues) and their week 2 opponent.

1) Terrance Williams WR 44.5% owned, WK2 @ Eagles

Terrance Williams is already a solid bench player in most fantasy formats. The Dez Bryant injury

boosts William’s value considerably. The Cowboys can’t rely solely on their run game anymore

so expect Williams to be heavily targeted as the Cowboys #1 WR for 6 to 8 weeks or as long as

Dez is out of action. I consider Williams to be the #1 waiver wire add this week and definitely a

starting WR in all fantasy formats.

2) Donte Moncrief WR 31% owned, WK2 vs Jets

Considered at best the Colts WR3 or WR4 this preseason. Moncrief was surprisingly highly

involved in week 1 receiving 11 targets for 6 catches and 46 yards, one of those going for a

touchdown. The second year WR out of Mississippi will only see more targets with the Colts

starting WR T.Y. Hilton’s injured knee holding him out 1 to 2 weeks. The Colts pass happy

offense will make Moncrief a valuable fantasy asset even after Hilton’s return. Sign and start

Moncrief this week with confidence.

3) Tyler Eifert TE 43% owned, WK2 vs Chargers

This preseason the Bengal’s head coach Marvin Lewis and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson

both raved about how good Tyler Eifert was looking. Finally healthy and no longer competing

with Jermaine Gresham for targets and playing time. Eifert was primed for last Sundays break

out where he had 12 targets equaling 9 receptions for 104 yards and 2 tds. The gap from Rob

Gronkowski to every other TE is huge but if Eifert can stay healthy and remain a favorite target

of Andy Dalton he could definitely finish as a top 3 TE. You can consider him a poor man’s Gronk

with a waiver wire price tag.

4) Chris Johnson RB 11.3% owned, WK2 @ Bears

For immediate RB help look for Chris Johnson. Once called CJ2K for the two thousand yards he

rushed for in 2009. Johnson spent his offseason unemployed and recovering from gunshot

wounds which occurred in a drive by shooting in which he was involved. Andre Ellington’s mild

PCL sprain will only keep him out for at most 3 weeks. Chris Johnson will start in Ellington’s place

and will be the primary ball carrier over that span.

5) David Johnson RB 37.1% owned, WK2 @ Bears

For long-term RB value add David Johnson. This big (6’1”, 224lbs)) rookie RB will be considered

CJ’s backup while Ellington is out. Johnson was drafted in the third round out of the university of

Northern Iowa where he holds career rushing, career rushing touchdowns, and career all-

purpose yards records. His size and soft hands allow him to catch the ball out of the backfield as

well as run tacklers over. Johnson only saw 5 snaps in week 1 (one of which was a 55yd td). His

snap count will increase now that he’s #2 on the depth chart and showed some playmaking

ability. Add David Johnson as a prospect who will gain snaps in the coming weeks and could be a

big factor at some point this season.

6) Marcus Mariota QB 35.7% owned, WK2 @ Browns

The 2nd pick of the first round in 2015 Marcus Mariota has high expectations. In week 1 Mariota

exceeded most expectations by going 13 of 16 for 209 yards and 4 TDs along with a perfect

passer rating. While I don’t think he’ll do this every week I do like his confidence, accuracy and

the Titans not putting too much on his plate too soon. Pick up Mariota as a backup QB with the

potential to be a weekly starter. I do however like his match up this week at Cleveland.

7) Dion Lewis RB 17.1% owned, WK2 @ Bills

Last week was the first game action Dion Lewis had seen since 2012. The Patriot running back

has bounced around the league since being drafted by the Eagles in round 5 of the 2011 NFL

draft. Lewis’s 69 rushing yards and 51 receiving yards led the way for the Patriots in week 1.Even

with the return of Legarrett Blount I still like Lewis, his speed and shiftiness is something the

other Patriot running backs don’t have. Sign Lewis as I expect him to be the lightning to Blount’s

thunder and should play the Shane Vereen role in the Patriot offense.

8) James Jones WR 30.8% owned, WK2 vs Seahawks

It’s funny that James Jones can’t even make the Giants 53 man roster but can sign with the

Packers and one week later have 4 catches, 51 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Packers week 1

win in Chicago. Chemistry is something that can’t be measured on the football field but

definitely is a huge benefit to those who have it like Rodgers and Jones. With Jordy Nelson out

for the season Jones will play a big role in the Packer offense and will continue to put up stats.

Add Jones for WR depth and a nice bye week fil in.

9) Brandon Coleman WR 16.8% owned, WK2 vs Bucs

An undrafted rookie free agent last year Coleman has become one of Drew Brees’s newest

weapons this year. At 6’6” and 220lbs Coleman could line up at tight end but instead has the

speed to play WR. An obvious red zone threat Coleman will be targeted often near the goal line

especially since Jimmy Graham was traded in the off season. 4 receptions, 41 yards and 1

touchdown is a good start to build on for the young Rutgers product. Sign Coleman for WR

depth and watch for a continued break out.