I have this team that is 3-0. And yes, "Come on Rank, nobody cares about your fantasy teams. Just get to the sleepers and stop with this nonsense." God, yes. I get it. Nobody cares about my fantasy team. But can I have just a little bit of fun? I want to share a quick story about this and I swear it's actually fantasy relevant with advice and everything. Savvy? Good.
So I have this team. You might have heard, 3-0. I know, "Good job, Rank. You're an expert, you should be 3-0." Well listen, imaginary person, I'm having a conversation with in my head, I abhor the title "expert" and if you would let me finish, I would tell you that I'm 3-0 with Andy Dalton as my starting quarterback.
No need to be so dramatic.
But it's been kind of a minor fantasy miracle to even win one game with him, especially in the first two weeks. Here is my crowd-sourced question, though. I have to keep starting him until he loses, right? I know, this would have been a funnier bit had I thrown it out to the fantasy world last week when he was coming off back-to-back miserable games. Now he has the Cleveland Browns so I really have no choice but to play him again this week against the Browns. So that's automatic.
And if you think about it, the Patriots are going to need playmakers. That was evident last week, especially once Danny Amendola went out. Plus, Burkhead did get a red zone target that he failed to convert. But that's how close these guys are to flipping a bad game into a salvageable fantasy afternoon. So judge Burkhead on a case-by-case situation. And if anybody hate-drops him this week, make sure to scoop him up off the waiver wire at the very least. You will want a player from a high volume offense opposed to some of the other guys who are going to be available out there. I'd almost rather hold shares of Burkhead than any of the curtain-jerkers the Cardinals are going to attempt to replace David Johnson with. Just saying.
So I guess here is the thing I really wanted to share with you all: Don't pick up Dalton this week. It has nothing to do with the matchup or the numbers, but I really need you all to stay off the Dalton Hype Train this week. You all ruined Jay Cutler for me last week, I don't need you doing the same thing to Dalton, too. I finally got him back to being a good fantasy quarterback again, I don't need all of you adding him this week, putting that undue pressure on him, and having him sink my perfect season in Week 4 against the Browns. I will give you plenty of other guys you can choose from here. I just want to ask you as a friend (and I feel we're all friends here), don't pick up Dalton. Just let me have this.
So you won't let me play Dalton. Who can I play instead? Deshaun Watson
Very impressive performance from Watson on Sunday afternoon in New England. One we didn't expect from a rookie quarterback. Because as you've heard by now (and I even shared this in Like/dislike) rookie quarterbacks don't do well in Foxboro.
Alas, this didn't work out. At least not in real football. But Watson did show he was capable of making big plays. And really, there is plenty to pick apart from a film room perspective. And I would caution you that the Patriots defense (yes the Pats D) has struggled early this year and allowed some quarterbacks you wouldn't think of (looking at you Alex Smith) to have some monster days. I like Watson's rushing ability (124 yards and a touch) and a great matchup against the Titans gives him plenty of sleeper appeal.
It's still too early for that. And remember, I was into Jay Cutler last week (well, before you all ruined it). So, no victory lap for me. I've been really impressed with him, though. Goff went 22 of 28 for 292 yards and three touchdowns, which I'm assuming is good. I don't want to proclaim him the second-coming of Norm Van Brocklin, but it does go to prove my preseason point that a little bit of coaching was going to be quite a boon to this young man. I mean, it wasn't even as if he was just throwing check downs to Cooper Kupp (remember him?), he spread the ball around to everybody and it was impressive. I like this matchup against the Cowboys. The secondary is a little bit banged up. But I will caution you about Demarcus Lawrence. The Rams must find a way to stop him, or at least slow him down to give Goff some time to get rid of the ball. I'm really excited to see how Goff handles this pressure.
Great, you've scared me off Goff, how about another quarterback? Trevor Siemian
Man, I told you this was going to be a tough matchup against the Bills. I really like that defense. I'm more comfortable with Siemian at home. Plus, the Redskins really exploited one of the Raiders' biggest weaknesses on Sunday night. The Raiders survived the first two weeks, but I'm looking forward to some shootouts for the Raiders this season. Speaking of the Raiders, I have Derek Carr in a few leagues. I'm contemplating going and picking up another quarterback like Siemian, Goff or Dalton to play this week. Although I probably won't, I'm still thinking about it.
Hey Ace, glad you talked down Siemian last week. You also talked up Cutler. You sticking with him?
I worked at the Irvine Improv when I was in college. Mostly because I wanted to get into standup and working the door meant you could eventually steal some stage time. But one night it was dead. My manager said I could cut out if I wanted to. But I decided to stick it out. And then, out of nowhere, Robin Williams showed up and crushed for like two hours. It was so amazing. So sometimes when you stick around, you will get rewarded for it. Now that the Cutler bandwagon has cleared out, I'm just going to pick up an empty seat and enjoy the show.
You should play him every week. James Koh crushed his write-up right here. And Carson was good last week. I know some of you were left underwhelmed. Because the buildup rivaled that of "Batman v. Superman" or whatnot, but Carson was still pretty good. (Yep, I'm still bringing that up.) Look, double-digit points from a guy you drafted super late (or even picked up on the wire) is pretty great. What you should be really encouraged by was that his touchdown last week was a receiving touchdown.
He out-snapped the other guy by 21, and he's more of a Darren Sproles-type than anybody else on that roster. I've been a fan of his since he was at West Virginia and feel like he could really be something special if given the chance.
He played just seven snaps, so this is purely a speculative add. I'm currently in a 14-teamer and there is just about nobody on the waiver wire. This is like a lottery ticket you get on your birthday. It could end up being something huge. You might also be looking at nothing in return.
Another guy that's going to be hidden deep in your benches. I implored people to add him Thursday night as a stash just in case. And if you did, your heart jumped a little bit when Carlos Hyde went down. So this is imperative for Hyde holders. Also if you want to be a jerk to the guy who has Hyde.
I love Shepard. I wasn't about to fall for Brandon Marshall. I feel bad for folks who bought in. But I feel really comfortable with Shepard as a WR3 or whatever your needs are. I don't know you. But I do know Shepard look pretty great against the Eagles. Eli Manning, in an effort to get the ball out of his hands and mask the offensive line problems, looked for his slot receiver. Shepard rewarded him with a 77-yard touchdown. This might not happen every week (duh), but I love the upside of this dude.
He's caught a touchdown in back-to-back games. But the Seahawks play the late game on Sunday and if you want to wait until the very last minute for a decision on Baldwin, then Richardson clearly offers you some protection.
You don't figure anybody is going to usurp Pierre Garcon in San Francisco. But Taylor could eventually find his way onto the field more. He played on just 47 percent of the snaps, which is troubling. Especially in a wild shootout. But if you're in the mood for a high-upside lotto ticket, then give Taylor a look.
Oh, you didn't know! You're (behind) better call somebody. It's me, it's me, it's the d-o-double-G. The Road Dogg Jesse James. He's got a great matchup against the Ravens who have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends this year. He was targeted in the end zone last week against the Bears, but that Chicago D is just too stout! And let's be honest, I just want to do this in the Danger Zone.