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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Kris’s Korner: Almost playoff time

Football equipment for the Panthers is maintained and stored inside the sports equipment room of Hughes Stadium Tony Wallin | [email protected]

We’re halfway through the season, which means only six more weeks until Fantasy football playoffs start. If you’re at the bottom of your league, it’s never too late to trade your way out.

I could go into a story about how I started the season 1-6 last year and traded my way to a 7-6 record and a playoff spot, but I’m not. I could also talk about how countless others are currently trying to do the same thing, but I won’t.

Instead, this will be directed to those league bottom dwellers that, for some reason, unload their star players for next to nothing to other people in playoff contention.

Every season I think this is an unwritten rule to abide by in all fantasy leagues. However, every season, there’s always that one person who does it. Is it collusion? Yes. Yes it is. Should it be stopped? Absolutely.

There are times where I think that a leagues commissioner should not be allowed to veto trades, but then there are times like these where the veto button should be pressed repeatedly.

There are exceptions however. If the manager of the team on the crappy end of the deal can present a logical explanation as to why they traded a number one pick for an injured player and a top 20 wide receiver, then by all means, trade away. But if not, don’t be afraid to hit that veto button, commissioner.

But I digress. Here are this week’s starts and sits. Just a reminder, the Detroit vs. Atlanta game starts at 9:30 a.m. EST, which means 6:30 a.m. PST. Inactive lists are typically released an hour prior to the game, so make sure you wake up to check the status of Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and others before it’s too late.

As always, start your studs, and good luck this week.


Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson (Seattle): He’s kind of a no brainer starting quarterback at this point. Just thought to mention that he’s playing a Carolina defense that is 27th in the league with 388.3 yards per game allowed. Wilson is a potential top-five quarterback this week.

Cam Newton (Carolina): You shouldn’t be afraid of starting Cam Newton this week against a Seattle defense that allowed 28 points to the St. Louis Rams just a week ago.

Ryan Tannehill (Miami): 20, 17 and 23. Those are the fantasy points that Tannehill has put up the past three weeks. This week he plays a Jacksonville defense that has allowed 280.1 passing yards per game and 27.3 points per game this season. He should be a top-12 quarterback this week.

Other quarterbacks: Tony Romo is playing against Washington’s defense, which has allowed 20.8 fantasy points for opposing quarterbacks. It should fun times for Romo. Nick Foles and Carson Palmer should have good days playing each other’s defenses this week. Arizona’s defense has allowed 284.8 passing yards per game, and Philadelphia has allowed 256.5 passing yards per game.

Sit ‘Em:

Matthew Stafford (Detroit): It pains me to put Stafford on this list two weeks in a row, but playing over seas in London without Calvin Johnson again doesn’t help his case against a struggling Atlanta defense. I have him in a league and will be starting him, but mostly because I have no other option.

Matt Ryan (Atlanta): Speaking of Atlanta, their offensive line lost yet another player this past weekend, making it four starters going down with season-ending injuries. The make shift offensive line will be going up against a Detroit front seven that is third in the league in sacks. Matt Ryan should be under pressure all game against the league’s top defense.

Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh): Roethlisberger has averaged 258 passing yards per game, but plays an Indianapolis defense this week that has been stingy against the pass all season, allowing the league’s fifth least amount of passing yards and the second least amount of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.


Start ‘Em: Running backs

Arian Foster (Houston): Arian Foster has played in five full games this season, and in each one of those five games, he’s had over 100 rushing yard. He plays a Tennessee defense that has played really well against the run, but don’t be deterred by that. Foster should have another big game and remain the leagues second leading rusher.

Marshawn Lynch (Seattle): Remember when Carolina had a really good defense? Yeah? Well that’s not the case any more. This season, Carolina has allowed 137.6 rushing yards per game. Beast Mode should eat this defense up like a bag of Skittles.

Ahmad Bradshaw (Indianapolis): Yes, he’s back on this list. Why? Two reasons: Trent Richardson could miss this week, which would cause a boost in Bradshaw’s touches; and through seven weeks, he has over 500 total yards from scrimmage and 7 touchdowns.

Shane Vereen (New England): With Stevan Ridley out for the season, Shane Vereen has stepped into the role of the primary running back. He’s a double threat in the passing and running game, and is on pace for over 1,000 yards from scrimmage, which should see a bump in his new role.

Other Running backs: This comes with a bit of caution: Ben Tate goes up against an Oakland defense that is ranked 29th in the league against the run. However, the running game in Cleveland seemed to struggle last week against Jacksonville without Pro Bowl center Alex Mack. Joique Bell has played well as the feature back with the oft-injured Reggie Bush constantly sidelined. This week, he goes up against an Atlanta defense that has given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Sit ‘Em:

Darren Sproles (Philadelphia): Sproles is coming off of a sprained MCL injury. He has practiced on a limited basis this week, but has yet to be confirmed as active for Sunday. Philadelphia is going against an Arizona defense that has allowed the second least amount of rushing yards this season. Don’t expect a huge game from LeSean McCoy either. However, you’re starting McCoy regardless.

Mark Ingram (New Orleans): 16 rushing yards on 10 carries last Sunday. I said it last week, give it some time before you consider starting Ingram in any role.

Alfred Morris (Washington): Washington’s offensive line has been dreadful this season for both run blocking and pass blocking. Alfred Morris has yet to eclipse the 100-yard mark on the ground and has only had two double-digit fantasy games this season. With the possibility of playing from behind against Dallas, Morris might not see many touches this week.

Tre Mason (St. Louis): Mason has had two really good showings at running back the past two weeks, but Head Coach Jeff Fisher recently said that the running back situation will be a “week-to-week thing.” Those words should be unsettling for Mason owners. Plus, Kansas City is allowing the fifth fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, so if Mason does get the bulk of the carries, he’s not likely to have a huge game.


Start ‘Em: Wide Recievers

Alshon Jeffrey (Chicago): While Brandon Marshall will be vacationing at Revis Island this weekend, 6-foot-3-inch Alshon Jeffrey will cause matchup nightmares against the other defensive backs in New England this week, providing Jay Cutler gets it together after a slopping week 7 outing.

Steve Smith Sr. (Baltimore): In the week 1 matchup against Cincinnati, Smith Sr. had seven catches for 118 yards and one touchdown. Cincinnati’s defense hasn’t gotten better since but Joe Flacco’s trust in Smith Sr. has.

Sammy Watkins (Buffalo): When Watkins isn’t facing a top defense or Darrelle Revis, he puts up really good numbers, last week being a prime example. Unfortunately for the New York Jets defense, they aren’t a top tier secondary and they no longer have Revis on their team.

Kelvin Benjamin (Carolina): Last week, I said not to start Brian Quick because of Seattle’s defense and Richard Sherman. This week I’m saying to start Kelvin Benjamin against Seattle’s defense and Richard Sherman. You’re probably asking, “Why would you do such a thing?” Well, because Benjamin is 6-foot-5 with a 7-foot wingspan, he can out physical Sherman and has a quarterback not named Austin Davis throwing to him.

Other wide receivers: Golden Tate should be in your line up every week for as long as Calvin Johnson is out. Period. Ryan Fitzpatrick said that he has looked at film and noticed that Andre Johnson is open much more than he thought and realized that he needs to get him the ball more. Johnson is already averaging 9 targets per game. More targets would boost his numbers tremendously.
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Sit ‘Em:

Roddy White (Atlanta): Inconsistency in his game has come from an increase of targets to Julio Jones, bad play from the offensive line and bad match ups. This week, he faces a Detroit defense that has allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points for receivers, which should cause trouble for the injury prone 10th year wide out.

Percy Harvin (New York Jets): I can’t lie, it felt weird writing New York Jets next to Harvin’s name. I’m sure it’s just as weird for him to be playing for the New York Jets. Which means it might be just as weird for New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith to throw to his new wide out. See what I’m getting at here?

Brian Quick (St. Louis): Kansas City Defense. Sean Smith. Austin Davis throwing to him. Good? Good.


Start ‘Em: Tight Ends

Chances are you have one of the top 10-12 guys. You’re starting Greg Olsen, Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett etc. If for some reason you don’t have any of the top guys, Zach Ertz is facing an Arizona defense that has allowed the eighth most fantasy points to the tight end position. Jared Cook has at least 3 catches per game this season and goes up the Chiefs defense that has given up the seventh most fantasy points to tight ends.


Defense and Special Teams

I usually don’t talk about defense/special teams starts and sits in this column. However, these are some teams out there that need to be picked up and some that should be dropped.


Pick Up:

Philadelphia: They are the number one fantasy defense/special teams in most formats and are only owned it 33 percent of and 77 percent of fantasy leagues. The No. 1 defense/special teams needs to be owned in all leagues. Period.

Miami: Seventh ranked defense/special teams. Plays Jacksonville this week. Is there really any other reason to pick them up? Owned in only 57 percent of and 64 percent of fantasy leagues.

Buffalo: Owned in more leagues than not, but still not in enough. The team leads the league in sacks so far this season with 24, and they play Geno Smith this who has been sacked 15 times this season.



Seattle: Seattle’s defense is not who we thought they were. 10, -1, 5, 2, 9 and 1. Those are Seattle’s defensive fantasy points this season. Seattle’s defense has allowed 23.5 points per game, 324-total offensive yards per game and has forced only 5 turnovers this season. Looks like the Madden curse has claimed another victim. They should be dropped.

Cincinnati: Since their bye week in week 4, Cincinnati has posted -8, -4 and 0 fantasy points. Owned in almost 80 percent of leagues and 67 percent of leagues. They can be safely dropped.

Arizona: 15th ranked defense/special teams in most formats. They have double-digit outputs in only two games this season against the New York Giants and Washington. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier from here on out.


Picks of the Week:

Detroit over Atlanta

Buffalo over New York Jets

Baltimore over Cincinnati

Seattle over Carolina

Chicago over New England

Houston over Tennessee

Miami over Jacksonville

Kansas City over St. Louis

Minnesota over Tampa Bay

Philadelphia over Arizona

Oakland over Cleveland

Indianapolis over Pittsburgh

Green Bay over New Orleans

Dallas over Washington

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