Welcome fantasy football dwellers, into the FantasyPros 911 Cave! In other caves youâ€™ll see drawings of tribesmen hunting and gathering.
In our cave, weâ€™ll check out the history through past performaces and numbers â€“ hunting and gathering in a NFL sort of way!
QB Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears – Safe to say that Cutler has been the source of controversy recently after last weekâ€™s dismal performance as well as the much-publicized â€œissueâ€ with tackle Jâ€™Marcus Webb. I guess he was a tad irritated after being sacked seven times. Of course, picking a fight with one of your offensive lineman, let alone one that is 6â€™ 7â€ 333 lbs probably isnâ€™t the smartest move. That said, this weekâ€™s matchup against the St. Loius Rams should bring everyone together, right? While I think the Bears win this contest, Cutlerâ€™s last outing against the Rams wasnâ€™t much to write home about. After torching them in 2007 for 302 yards and two touchdowns as a member of the Denver Broncos, in 2009 the carriage turned back into a pumpkin with 143 passing yards and a single touchdown. If that happens again, Webb better get a bodyguard. Can you sense the sarcasm?
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills – The last time Fitzpatrick faced the Cleveland Browns, he put together quite the mediocre performance. Back in 2010, he threw for 143 yards and one touchdown. Not exactly the type of performance that makes fantasy foes shiver.
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers – For some reason Big Ben is never mentioned in the upper echelon of the position. Thatâ€™s fine, itâ€™s nice to see him quietly go about his business and put up quality numbers week in and week out. Against the Oakland Raiders heâ€™s more than done that. In 2009, Roethlisberger passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns. In 2010, he cranked it up even further, with 275 passing yards, three touchdown strikes and added 55 yards rushing (he’s like Fran Tarkenton!!!) and another score on the ground.
QB Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys – If past history is any indication, Tony Romo is in line to put last weekâ€™s disaster against the Seahawks behind him. In 2009 against the Buccaneers, Romo completed 16 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns. This past season, he continued to torment Tampa Bay with 249 passing yards, three touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. Just watch the â€œvictory formationâ€, OK?
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars – He was welcomed back by fantasy owners because of past performances like the ones he puts up against the Indianapolis Colts. Jones-Drew has been a beast against them over the past few seasons without a doubt. In 2010 he rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown and added two receptions for 16 yards and another score. Last season he faced them twice and averaged over 140 yards rushing and a touchdown. Welcome back, Maurice.
RB Shonn Greene, New York Jets – I mentioned Greene in my Week Three Bust article and rightfully so. Aside from bringing a 3.3 yard per carry average against Miami, he has yet to score a touchdown in their last six meetings. Youâ€™ll want to note that the Miami Dolphins rush defense is even better now. Go Green, but don’t go Greene.
RB Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints - Of course he was younger and healthier in 2008, werenâ€™t we all? As evidenced by last weekâ€™s quality performance, if heâ€™s given the opportunity Thomas still brings something to the table. In 2008 he gained a total of 144 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. This is a game he should flourish, but with the Saints you just never know.
RB Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens â€“ Donâ€™t look for Rice to run all over the New England Patriots. The last time they faced each other was in the conference finals, and Rice underwhelmed. He carried the ball 21 times for 67 yards and no touchdowns. This is by no means a suggestion to sit him obviously, just some facts to keep in mind as he may very well come up short on Sunday night.
WR Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills – As his quarterback goesâ€¦ And Fitzpatrick’s lack of production against the Browns as more than hampered Johnsonâ€™s offensive production. In his last matchup against the Browns, Stevie caught five passes for 42 yards and no touchdowns. Given his status and value on most fantasy rosters, more is required without question.
WR Mohamed Massaquoi, Cleveland Browns – As rookie QB Brandon Weeden develops, youâ€™ll want to keep an eye on Massaquoi. However, close that eye this week against the Bills. In his last two games against Buffalo, he has averaged less than 30 yards per game and hasnâ€™t scored in either contest.
WR Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys – With Romo stepping up against Tampa Bay, you had to figure one of his receivers would be here. In his last two games against the Buccaneers, Austin has averaged over fifty yards receiving and a touchdown. Consistency is the driving force behind fantasy football success and you get that with Austin.
WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals – Yes, the Philadelphia Eagles secondary is top notch. However they have a bad habit of giving up some big plays to quality players. Fitzgerald is no stranger to torching the Eagles. In 2011 he caught seven passes for 146 yards and scored two touchdowns. Keep in mind this was with the same quarterback tandem, and the same defenders on the other side of the ball you’ll see this Sunday.
WR Wes Welker, New England Patriots – There has been much discussion regarding Welker being phased out of the Patriots offense. Donâ€™t be silly. That said, you may be able to pull a nice â€œbuy lowâ€ score if he continues his below-average performances against the Ravens. In the last two games against Baltimore, Welker has only averaged 53 yards receiving and hasnâ€™t scored a single touchdown.
Â Tight EndsÂ
TE Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers – Look for Davis to continue his hot start to the 2012 season as San Francisco faces the Detroit Lions. In 2009 he was quite a factor, with seven receptions and 96 yards and two touchdowns.
TE Owen Daniels, Houston Texans – Granted the Texans have developed into a run-first team, understandably so as they possess one of the gameâ€™s best in RB Arian Foster. However, they also possess two of the gameâ€™s better receivers in WR Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels. Hopefully QB Matt Schaub recalls the game Daniels put in the last time Houston faced the Denver Broncos in 2010. Daniels grabbed 8 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. Pretty solid indeed.
TE Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers – Never a huge yardage guy, but Miller has turned a head or two with his nose for the end zone in 2012. It will be interesting to see if he can continue that trend. History disagrees though, as in 2010 Miller caught 3 passes for 26 yards but couldnâ€™t find pay dirt against the Oakland Raiders.
Enjoy the games!!
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