Fantasy Pop Quiz - NFL Questions for Week 5

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When I'm not phoning in my once-a-week column, I'm in digital marketing. For the most part it means I'm behind a computer working on one of dozens of things, or on a phone. But this week, I got away from the computer, and after a few years of work at a sports-related startup, I was back in the saddle again, and heading to after hours social event! And it was sports related! Look at me go! What made this event different was the fact that it was the first one I had ever been to with my STBF. And as we were driving, I had a thought: "What if someone from my fantasy football team was there?"

I asked her. She shrugged. I had actually never thought about it before. She added to her answer, "I dunno? Will anyone be there from my team?" She followed up once more, "What would you do if they were there?" Well, I have four teams, and have been playing this game for seven years and have shown no sign of stopping, will logistically maybe, at some point in my life, be in the vicinity of someone I've had on some fantasy team.

So, I thought about it, and admittedly I didn't have an answer then either. Would I be able to contain myself? Or would I give in and say something, ever so slightly, out of admiration or frustration? I don't mean like the faceless dudes on Twitter who tweet every last thought they have at every player they've ever met. I mean, just like how you are supposed to behave at parties, would I be kind and cordial and wonder, the entire time, "would Robby Anderson be totally weirded out if I said I always believed in him when I drafted him towards the end of my drafts?"

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My Passive Aggressive Thought, if I saw this player at a party, Week 5 Edition

"Eric Decker, god damnit..."
"Dion Lewis, admittedly I expected too much from you."
"Joe Flacco, do you also laugh at the "we once called you elite and now you're this" thing?"
"Christian McCaffrey, if you need help, blink twice and we'll get you out of the Carolinas."
"Eric Ebron, I told everyone who listened that you would be a trendy sleeper. Wake up man!"
"Man, David Johnson, I'm really bummed about your leg"
"Chris Carson, I am also bummed about your leg"
"___________, I am bummed about the injury you sustained to _____________" (fill in with anybody and/or body part you like)
"Kenny Britt, I can't believe I ever kept you in a dynasty league"
"Any and all Dolphins players, I'm so disappointed in you..."

 

Running Back Questions

______ will either be on my bench or will RUIN my week.

A: Bilal Powell
B: Christian McCaffrey
C: Jordan Howard
D: Joe Mixon

After saying two weeks ago that I'm going to trust him to increase his workload and get back on the right track, Christian McCaffrey is now on my "don't go near him" list. Jordan Howard is facing a much tougher defense, but until McCaffrey is consistently running or receiving, we have to face the obvious that the Panthers just don't know how to use him. I think, even two weeks ago, this list would have sparked a little bit more fear across the board. But Powell is getting to work more consistently, Jordan Howard can keep Tarik Cohen in the rear-view as long as he stays healthy, and it only took Joe Mixon two weeks to see a more consistent starter-type workload. McCaffrey, arguably a decent fantasy matchup, is still a no-fly zone except for a BYE week related FLEX.

Against all odds, should you take a look at ___________ now?

A: Latavius Murray
B: Tarik Cohen
C: Marshawn Lynch
D: Isaiah Crowell

I understand the trepidation around rolling out these guys though, and though sometimes I group people in these categories just for fun, this time I intentionally had a theme; running backs generally valued in the top-20 for most consensus rankings who didn't top more than ten attempts last week. You're probably looking at one or more of these guys, and having to decide whether to play them, if not this week than in future weeks. Cohen gets a pass because he's playing the pass-catching back in his offense, which is great for a FLEX in PPR leagues, but a little risky in other positions and league formats outside of that scenario. With Dalvin Cook's injury, I count myself as someone who believes that Latavius Murray will break into double digits rushing attempts, and not be stuck in a timeshare. With everyone else, I'd be nervous. With Latavius Murray, I'm a little excited to see what he can put together.

 

Wide Receiver Questions

Am I going to really roll with ____________ this week? (Yes. Yes I Am)

A: Golden Tate
B: DeVante Parker
C: Alshon Jeffery
D: Rishard Matthews

In a week where I actually wouldn't mind starting any of these guys, all except Jeffery with a favorable secondary matchup, but it comes down to whose numero uno, or at least WR2. And I didn't want pick DeVante Parker (I did just make the Dolphins joke above), but the Miami offense is designed to be boom or bust, with outlined roles for each of the two receivers (Jarvis Landry is a champ in the "tons of receptions, but no yards" bowl) that serves Parker going deep. And the Titans defense, though not facing a huge number of attempts, are allowing a ton of wide receiver yards and passing touchdowns each game. So, if I believe I'm in the "boom" section, that means that my yards and end zone work makes Parker kind of a must-start, no matter how tired you are of seeing it not happen for him so far.

In Week 3, I will FLEX my muscles and put ________ in my lineup

A: Michael Crabtree
B: Sammy Watkins
C: Adam Thielen
D: Amari Cooper

It seems like just yesterday I was high on all things Vikings receivers, but three straight weeks of five receptions for Thielen after a fiery start means I'm just not quite ready to roll Thielen out in all leagues. And I can't trust anything in Oakland until Derek Carr is all-the-way back. So why Sammy Watkins, especially given his deeply inconsistent volume? Well, have you seen Seattle on the road vs wide receivers? Sure, on the road against Green Bay is notoriously tough, but there's nothing in the Titans defense that scares you, and they crumbled. Watkins may be undervalued in this matchup, and though I still don't trust him weekly, he's the guy I'm most likely to roll out in the WR3 range.

 

Tight End Question

SHORT ANSWER: Cliff has no reason recommending  __________________ to me again after last week, but apparently he doesn't learn his lesson and is doubling down. 

Answer: Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Yes, again. Yes, because even though he also had a favorable matchup last weekened, Austin Seferian-Jenkins didn't exactly win you any leagues. But if I know that you can hit the Browns with your tight end over and over (Tyler Kroft, paging Tyler Kroft), then the New York Jets will know that the pass-magnet is bound to be even more tempting to play. Telegraphing be damned, the Jets are leading with their Jenkins and they are thrilled with it.

 

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