It’s another week of football, and we have an assortment of fantasy football facts and stats to share with you on this gameday’s morning. So sit back and enjoy some random tidbits that may be informative, entertaining, or helpful to your fantasy team.
With Adrian Peterson reportedly out today and Toby Gerhart also not expected to play, the Minnesota Vikings will have to turn to Matt Asiata. Who is this guy? Well, for starters, he’s never carried the rock this season, and he was a UDFA out of Utah. Not much is known out of him, but he is going to receive the majority of the workload today. The projected No. 2 back if Gerhart is also out? Joe Banyard, who was recently promoted on the practice squad, and Banyard was the guy Asiata beat out for the No. 3 role. Unless if you are beyond desperation, look for someone other than Asiata as a fantasy option.
If you are going to start a “backup RB set to get the start” this week, then I would go for Jordan Todman of the Jacksonville Jaguars. While Maurice Jones-Drew is still a game-time decision and still seems determined to play, he’s also listed doubtful and is a veteran back dealing with a hamstring issue. Stay away from MJD in fantasy leagues, and I would actually start No. 2 back Jordan Todman over him. Todman was supposed to be in a time-share with MJD going forward, but the Jaguars scrapped that plan in Week 14 against the Houston Texans because Jones-Drew was playing so well. But with MJD more than iffy for today’s game, Todman is worth strong consideration in deeper leagues.
So here’s something I found surprising. Josh Gordon obviously leads the league in receiving yards and is an extraordinary deep threat, but he doesn’t lead the league in yards per reception. While Gordon’s 19.7 YPR is extraordinary, New Orleans Saints young deep threat Kenny Stills is a hair higher at 19.8. DeSean Jackson and Chris Givens are next on the list with 16.6 YPR each.
Speaking of Chris Givens, he’s set to get more targets his way today against the Saints with Tavon Austin fully expected to miss today’s game. The Rams haven’t ruled out Austin yet, but that’s just them holding the door open for the rookie. He never practiced this week, and he was in a walking boot on Friday. Meanwhile, hasn’t caught more than three passes in a game since Week 9, so we’ll see if that changes. So much for a breakout year, huh? He has wheels, but he hasn’t shown much else, despite the fact that he reportedly made strides on the finer points of his game (read: route-running) in the offseason. Jared Cook is another projected beneficiary, but he’s been a flop as well. The sad part is, Cook has been this team’s best pass-catcher.
Today’s Saints-Rams game, at least from the Rams perspective on offense, is going to be all about Zac Stacy vs. the Saints defense. The Rams will once again have to ride Stacy, which is something Jeff Fisher is content with doing. Stacy is a must-must-must start in fantasy this week.
And so is Eddie Lacy. Not only is he going up against the Dallas Cowboys run defense today, but he’s also going up against a Cowboys defense minus Sean Lee. It’s a tantalizing matchup, and it only gets better once you account for the fact that Matt Flynn is starting again at QB. Lacy is going to go off today, barring something unsurprising. The ankle injury? He’s listed probable, and it’s not of the least bit of concern. I could see Lacy losing some carries to capable backup James Starks, but the upside here is still tremendous even if Starks vultures notable touches.
The Seattle Seahawks wide receivers might have the best hands in the league, as they have only dropped a total of 13 passes this season. It’s been amazing watching the efficiency of Doug Baldwin, the emergence of Golden Tate, the timely catches from Zach Miller, and the rising Jermaine Kearse, who has Russell Wilson‘s trust. And with Percy Harvin set to return in the playoffs, they’ll get that big-time playmaking back if he can stay healthy. By the way, Harvin was ruled out today, but Miller is going to play.
Hakeem Nicks finally broke out last week with 135 receiving yards, but he did it against an awful San Diego Chargers secondary. This week, he’ll be up against the Seattle Seahawks secondary, so don’t go chasing another big fantasy performance out of Nicks.
Quick question, which player has the most yards from scrimmage this season? LeSean McCoy, and he should have another fine day today against the Minnesota Vikings.
Here’s how the Win Probability Charts read at quarterback:
1. Peyton Manning 5.31
2. Philip Rivers 4.19
3. Drew Brees 3.23
4. Tom Brady 3.17
5. Josh McCown 2.76
Talk about a lot of drop-offs. And if you don’t think Phil Rivers is a legit MVP candidate, then I hope the Chargers TNF win or, more importantly, these stats are a wake-up call.
Matt Schaub has a completion percentage that is a little over eight percentage points higher than Case Keenum‘s this season, but that’s just about the only positive. Keenum has him in yards per attempt and has less interceptions, which shows that he’s doing a better job of challenging defenses deep and not making mistakes. I think Schaub’s track record makes Keenum’s upside a wash, but Keenum’s put up better numbers than Schaub this year and deserves to start on that merit alone.
Despite the fact that he goes deep over 28% of the time, Nick Foles has just one interception; he’s “the guy” until proven otherwise.
One more stat: Terrelle Pryor‘s 93-yard run against the Pittsburgh Steelers is still the longest rushing play of the season.
Topics: Adrian Peterson, Case Keenum, Chris Givens, Dallas Cowboys, Dez Bryant, Drew Brees, Eddie Lacy, Fantasy Football, Green Bay Packers, Hakeem Nicks, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, James Starks, Jared Cook, Jordan Todman, Josh Gordon, Josh McCown, Kenny Stills, Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy, Matt Asiata, Matt Schaub, Maurice Jones-Drew, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Nick Foles, Notes And Analysis, Oakland Raiders, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Eagles, Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, Sean Lee, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tavon Austin, Terrelle Pryor, Toby Gerhart, Tom Brady, Zac Stacy