Week 4 UPs and OUTs

Week 4 is coming fast and by week 6 we usually have a good enough sample size to know what to expect.  The referee situation makes one wonder though how it might further affect the fantasy game.  Will the introduction of the seasoned veteran referees bring back the passing numbers that dominated the 2011 season?  Is the sample size going to bubble past the bye weeks once the real refs stand up?  Either way as a Brady and Rodgers owner I have to hope the refs will bring back the passing numbers.  Here goes nothing for week 4……

UPs for Week 4 are:

1. Matt Schaub – Assuming he is healthy (he took a hit that would make Van Gogh wince) he has a favorable match-up with Tennessee coming this Sunday.

2. Josh Freeman – Struggled in Dallas but a return trip home against the R-E-D-S-K-I-N-S spells relief.

3. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Jags not so solid on the ground and he gets all the looks for the Bengals, even if it is a 2 yard punch in after an A.J. Green long ball.

4. Cedric Benson – The Packers should move the chains on a Saints defense that proved yet again they lack the ability to tackle and he was a strong point of their second half in Seattle.

5. Mike Williams – I wouldn’t be dancing on a limb if I said play Vincent Jackson but the Redskins let Green, Hawkins and Binns score points last week.  Williams gets plenty of targets on this offense and should do well.

6. Owen Daniels – He is a fringe top tier tight end so this might not be a stretch but the team should move the ball and he is getting the more targets than Andre Johnson through three games.

7. Arizona Defense – If you haven’t figured it out yet – these guys look good.  They play Miami which doesn’t hurt.

Bonus – Dallas Cowboys Defense – should eat pieces of Jay Cutler for breakfast.

OUTs for Week 4 are:

1. Jay Cutler – Can be had with their shaky offensive line and the Cowboys have been tough to pass on.

2. Robert Griffin III – Has been the best so far but hasn’t yet had a road game with a D the likes of Tampa Bay.  They held Newton and Romo in check, I don’t think RGIII’s scrambling ability will surprise them.

3. Chris Johnson – Seems like the whole word has turned their backs on him.  He can and will do better but it’s tough to see it starting against the Texans defense.

4. Jamaal Charles – San Diego defense is allowing 20 less yards per game than Charles put up in one 91 yard touchdown against the Saints.  Slight hint that things could be closer to Charles performances in weeks one and two.

5. Trent Richardson – He has got it done the last two weeks but against the Ravens thursday with a sore knee on short rest…. three strikes, you know the rest.

6. Brandon Marshall – The one guy Rob Ryan wants to make the Bears play without and unfortunately for Marshall, Ryan has the tools to do it.

7. Hakeem Nicks – Hasn’t got going yet this year and should have a tough time against the Packers secondary.

8. Seattle Defense – Just bested the Cowboys and Packers at home but couldn’t handle Arizona’s offense on the road week one.  They go to St. Louis and I’d expect more Dr. Jekyll soft on the run Seahawks defense than the Mr. Hyde we’ve seen in Seattle.

Season Average is 65% (19-10) and hopefully rising….


Checking up after Week 3

First off the tally on last weeks UPs and OUTs predictions (QB over 15, RB/WR over 10 and TE over 8):

UPs that were UP- A. Dalton (25.72), Mike Bush (13.3), Andrew Hawkins (14.2) and Andre Brown (25).

UPs that were OUT- Cam Newton (13.28), Brandon LaFell (2.7) and Brandon Pettigrew (4.1).

UPs tally – 4-3

OUTs that were OUT- Josh Freeman (7.5), Shonn Greene (4.9), V. Jackson (2.9), V. Cruz  (4.2) and J. Tamme (3.1).

OUTs that were IN – P. Manning (21.2), A. Peterson (10.7) and C. Benson (12.4).

OUTs tally –  5-3

Week 3 totals 9-6   Total on the season 19-10 – Still a lot more right than wrong but the season percentage drops to 65%.  Forget to turn in my homework once and I’m failing.


Following up with last weeks look at Running Backs 29 or older (https://craigvillemure.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/running-backs-29-and-over/) a few guys on the list were banged up either going into the week or coming out.  This is why it’s always good to keep an eye on this group.

Frank Gore still looked good, Darren Sproles actually led the Saints in carries (whopping 7), Ced Benson went for 64 total yards on 21 touches after an ugly pass every down first half and faces a soft Saints D next week.  The Packers might just come close to running as often as passing for once….nah.  C.J. Spiller went down with a shoulder injury and might just open the door for Fred Jackson to come back.  Jackson coming back early at 70-75 percent against a tough run defense in New England sounds like a poor recipe for longevity but if he can stay healthy the Bills line opens up holes with the best of them.  Otherwise keep an eye out for Tashard Choice if Jackson has a set back.

Jacquizz Rodgers played more snaps than Mike Turner and Willis McGahee suffered a rib injury that might open the door to Moreno or Lance Ball or even Rookie Ronnie Hillman…..sounds like Mike Shanahan is back in Denver.  The Rams and Panthers got flat out beat last week but it’s starting to look like Steven Jackson isn’t going to make it to 35 catches let alone his average of 44 for the past couple seasons, which could be trouble if you are in a PPR.  DeAngelo Williams didn’t capitalize with Stewart out but they both finished their games healthy which is a leg up on McGahee…. for now.

Crag Index for Week 3 Running Backs

  1. C.J. Spiller – 57.63   (2)
  2. Ray Rice – 48.59   (3)
  3. A. Brown – 44.69   (9)
  4. A. Foster – 29.64   (1)
  5. F. Gore – 28.15   (4)
  6. M. Lynch – 20.98   (6)
  7. M. Turner – 19.62   (24)
  8. M. Jones-Drew – 17.81   (21)
  9. R. Bush – 16.40   (8)
  10. A. Peterson – 16.10   (11)
  11. J. Battle – 14.75   (10)
  12. W. Mchahee – 14.37   (7)
  13. T. Richardson – 13.96   (12)
  14. M. Bush – 11.95   (25)
  15. A. Morris – 10.51   (16)
  16. B. Green-Ellis – 10.24   (17)
  17. K. Smith – 9.33   (5)
  18. M. LeShoure – 9.02   (NR)
  19. B. Tate – 7.78   (14)
  20. J. Rodgers – 7.69   (NR)
  21. D. Murray – 7.34   (NR)
  22. D. Brown – 6.73   (29)
  23. S. Greene- 6.54   (20)
  24. C. Benson – 6.44   (NR)
  25. L. McCoy – 6.32   (18)
  26. D. Martin – 5.84   (22)
  27. A. Bradshaw – 5.76   (23)
  28. S. Ridley – 5.74   (15)
  29. D. McFadden – 5.73   (NR)
  30. J. Charles – 4.95   (NR)
  31. M. Ingram – 4.77   (13)
  32. M. Forte – 4.59   (NR)
  33. D. Sproles – 3.81   (NR)
  34. D. Williams – 3.49   (30)
  35. J. Bell – 3.29   (27)
  36. J. Stewart – 2.95   (26)
  37. L. Miller – 2.92   (19)
  38. M. Redman – 2.4   (33)
  39. D. Woodhead – 1.93   (NR)
  40. S. Draughn – 1.83   (32)
  41. S. Tolbert – .91   (36)
  42. L. Stephens-Howling – .57   (31)
  43. K. Moreno – .30   (34)
  44. V. Leach – .28   (35)

The number in parentheses is last week’s rank.  This week’s big winner was Andre Brown who moved up to the number three spot with a solid game.  The Kevin Smiths of the league can show how one bad game will bring you right back down the list.  The new adds of this week that should rise as the weeks continue are McFadden, Charles, Murray and LeShoure.  Aside from LeShoure, who only played one game, the other three are low on the list as a result of a low touchdown rate.  Similarly Jackie Battle has a higher touchdown rate than most and is higher on the list.  Look for those names to flip flop in the coming weeks.  C.J. Spiller should be dropping as his injured shoulder limits his availability but as of now he is tied with the league lead at four touchdowns and standing tall.  Enjoy it while it last.

Running Backs 29 and Over….

History tells us that after the age of thirty running backs seem to enter the NFL glue factory.  Year in and year out these older running backs are struck with injuries or ‘lose a step’ only to lose a job.  Let’s take a look at the running backs that are 29 years or older and their backups.   

San Francisco – Frank Gore (29) has been running strong this year but he has only played two full seasons out of seven, last year being one.  His legs might be due for a rest in the form of injury in which case the backup back to replace him would be Kendall Hunter and not Brandon Jacobs (30) who has already struck injury.

Green Bay – Cedric Benson (29) AND John Kuhn (30) both get a limited amount of touches (they have a combined 31 carries in two games) in a pass heavy offense which should keep their legs fresh as the season wears on.  Alex Green shows promise on the bench but little more at this point.

Buffalo – Fred Jackson (31) didn’t even make it through one game and has been shown up something fierce by CJ Spiller over two games.  His lateral collateral ligament recently passed a motion test and won’t need surgery.  He is healing faster than the eight week maximum and looks closer to four week minimum of games missed.  Knee injuries are never good to see on a running back let alone his second major injury in ten months but this was only a sprain.  He usually outperforms Spiller when they are both active but this might be the season he comes back looking slow and you wouldn’t want to depend on him since Spiller may have earned a bulk share of the carries even when he comes back.  I’d say pick up Spiller but that ship has certainly sailed in every league.

Denver – Willis McGahee (30) continues to run strong and outperform Knowshon Moreno for the time being and has seen 70% of the carries (38 to Moreno’s 8).  McGahee has only missed eight games in eight seasons but should he miss any time this year Moreno is the next guy in and this offensive line might not pass block well but they can run block all day.

New Orleans – Darren Sproles (29) doesn’t even have a carry yet and should stay healthy as the Saints seem to prefer him as a receiver rather than a back.

Carolina – DeAngelo Williams (29) has been healthier than his backup, Jonathan Stewart, who might miss the Thursday night matchup with the Giants with an ailing toe and ankle injury.  After missing ten games two years ago Williams stayed healthy all year last year but should he see an injury Stewart would take a larger role, assuming he is healthy at that point.  If not, free agent converted fullback Mike Tolbert would be next in line.

St. Louis – Steven Jackson (29) was held out of the second half of last week’s game which gave us a great look at Daryl Richardson who seems to have just recently overcome Isaiah Pead as the backup.  Jackson had a tight groin which warranted an MRI on Monday morning.  Jackson has been the better back by far on this team for years and should still get the bulk of the carries regardless of how much time he logs on the practice field.  Should he miss time and he has missed thirteen games over eight seasons; Richardson would be the back to own at this point.

Atlanta – Michael Turner (30) is in an offense that looks to pass first and maybe run later at this point.  Turner has 28 carries in two games and second in rushing yards on the team is quarterback Matt Ryan.  Jacquizz Rodgers has been forecasted to overcome Turner with speed and ability in the passing game but as of yet isn’t beating Turner’s lowly 2.6 yards per carry and only has two catches.  Rodgers needs to take a big step forward or Turner who has played four full seasons out of five in Atlanta would need to take a big step back.

I will check back in on the status of these backs as the season unfolds and situations change.  In deeper leagues, twelve teams or more, you might seek out a backup early to avoid the waiver rush once one of these starters goes down.  Kendall Hunter or Daryl Richardson could be a one to three week stud just as CJ Spiller has performed with Fred Jackson out.  If you have an open spot on your roster that isn’t producing at this point it might be worth a look to own one of those two for the opportunity that might come their way.  You never know it might just save your starters bye week.

Week 2 Running Back Crag Index

The Crag Index is designed to take into account a player’s opportunities to succeed in scoring fantasy points.  Several numbers are incorporated in an attempt to provide the most thorough breakdown of playing situation while analyzing current record of success.  It’s been too long that quarterbacks have their own rating while the rest of the talent gets left behind.

The Crag Index for running backs following week two….

  1. Arian Foster (4) – 36.05
  2. CJ Spiller (9) – 34.82
  3. Ray Rice (1) – 27.50
  4. Frank Gore (6) – 27.10
  5. Kevin Smith (3) – 20.54
  6. M. Lynch (nr) – 18.64
  7. W. McGahee (nr) – 15.95
  8. R. Bush (nr) – 14.57
  9. Andre Brown (nr) – 13.95
  10. J. Battle (nr) – 12.68
  11. A. Peterson (7) – 11.59
  12. T. Richardson (nr) – 11.53
  13. M. Ingram (nr) – 11.17
  14. B. Tate (nr) – 10.83
  15. S. Ridley (5) – 10.00
  16. A. Morris (10) – 9.30
  17. B. Green-Ellis (11) – 7.30
  18. L. McCoy (nr) – 6.92
  19. L. Miller (nr) – 6.88
  20. S. Greene (2) – 6.69
  21. M. Jones-Drew (nr) – 6.03
  22. D. Martin (nr) – 5.20
  23. A. Bradshaw (8) – 5.15
  24. M. Turner (nr) – 4.98
  25. M. Bush (14) – 4.95
  26. J. Stewart (nr) – 4.65
  27. J. Bell (18) – 4.43
  28. M. Forte (12) – 3.95
  29. D. Brown (13) – 3.39
  30. D. Williams (nr) – 2.22
  31. L. Stephens-Howling (15) – 2.03
  32. S. Draughn (17) – 1.900
  33. I. Redman (nr) – 1.75
  34. K. Moreno (16) – 1.18
  35. V. Leach (nr) – .44
  36. M. Tolbert (nr) – .43

One week wonders (Andre Brown and Jackie Battle) can drop fast with a poor follow up (see Shonn Greene).  The backs that compete at higher rates will have a higher Crag as the year wears on.

7 Men UP and 8 OUT: Week 3

Following up on Week 2 player picks – Quarterbacks should score over 15, Running Backs and Receivers over 10 and Tight Ends over 8….here are the results.

The ups that were UP were – J. Freeman 15.72, Mike Williams – 11.9 Pts, D. Bowe 22.2 pts, Cam Newton 25.52,  BenJarvus Green-Ellis 10.5,

The Ups that were DOWN were- Peterson 8 pts and Fleener 1.6pts.

Ups Ratio = 5/7

The Outs that were OUT were – Romo 12.94, Pitta 6.5 pts, Bradshaw 1.6, Chris Johnson 2.8, Sid Rice 2.3

The Outs that were IN were – Dalton 24.12pts, AJ Green 11.8.  (P. Garcon DNP)

Outs Ratio = 5/7

Overal Ratio = 10/14 = 71%

Lets see if Week 3 can get the average up….

Week 3 UPS

Andy Dalton – Washington hasn’t been great and they just lost two starters for the year.

Cam Newton – The Giants will be on the road and are likely to be confused at the different grass let alone routes being run at them.

Mike Bush – Taking the bulk of the snaps with Forte out and gets a friendly start at home vs. the Rams.

Andre Brown – Assuming Bradshaw is out Wilson has fumbled too much for goal line work and Panthers can be run on.

Andrew Hawkins – see above regarding the Redskins injuries and a Rams offense putting up 31 on them.

Brandon LaFell – At home against a Giants secondary that couldn’t cover a tack with all the textiles in Chin…oh their just bad and I’m still a bitter Pat’s fan.

Brandon Pettigrew – Titans allowing the most Tight End success.


Peyton Manning – In for a struggle against a stingy Texans D that used to see this guy twice a year.

Josh Freeman – Has an away game against a Dallas defense that has been very good against the pass.

Shonn Greene – a stingy Miami run defense at home in a division game has the edge.

Adrian Peterson – If Indy was a tough run last week then San Francisco this week will be something written by Wes Craven.

Ced Benson – Has an away game in Seattle where the ground is quicksand for away backs.

Vincent Jackson – Top receivers have been on milk cartons against the ‘Boys D this year.

Victor Cruz – The Panthers have held all the wide outs they have seen under 50 yards.

Jacob Tamme – Houston has been one of the best against the Tight End and they have also seen this guy plenty before.

7 men up and 8 out

Here’s a quick look at 7 guys on the ups for this weekend and 8 guys that you might want out….

7  Ups

  1. Josh Freeman – The giants secondary was rancid last week.
  2. Mike Williams – See Above.
  3. Benjarvus Green-Ellis – Dalton will struggle to pass on Cleveland but the law firm is open all day
  4. Adrian Peterson – Soft Indy D to run all over plus maybe more touches than last week.
  5. Cam Newton – New Orleans made RGIII look like a Saint last week.
  6. Dwayne Bowe – Gets plenty looks and the Bills got beat up by SANCHEZ last week.
  7. Coby Fleener – Vikes allowed every perfect catch to target % to Lewis last week plus a TD.

8 Outs

  1. Andy Dalton – The Cleveland pass D will be one of the best by year end.
  2. AJ green – Healthy dose of Haden would ruin anyone’s day.
  3. A. Bradshaw – Tampa Bay D-line very stingy upfront last week starting with McCoy.
  4. Chris Johnson –San Diego dominated the Raiders up front and Phillips will be a defensive POY candidate.
  5. Pierre Garcon – St. Louis picked up Finnegan so he could pick on guys like garcon.
  6. Sidney Rice – Mr. Glass has missed two practices and has a tough Dallas match coming up.
  7. Dennis Pitta – Just can’t see him following up with another top 3 TE performance with his track record.
  8. Tony Romo – Seattle always elevates their game at home and it usually starts on D.