2013 Fantasy Football September 26 Daily Fix: Week 4 DEF/ST Recommendations
Today’s fantasy football daily fix delivers news, notes, and DraftKings D/ST recommendations, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and New York Jets.
News & Notes
Mike Glennon Is An NFL Starting Quarterback
For the second week in a row, a quarterback change that surprises just as many fantasy players as it impacts (which is to say none, on both counts) leads off the Thursday Daily Fix.
Greg Schiano’s wood-choppin’ Tampa Bay Buccaneers have thrown rookie QB Mike Glennon into the proverbial wood chipper; Glennon will replace the suddenly terrible Josh Freeman as the starter for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Glennon was a darling of NFL draftniks for about 14 minutes last year, but fell out of favor when he stumbled against ACC defenses. He ended up as a decent value for the Bucs in the third round. In fact, I’ll just let Mel Kiper’s comment from his 2013 Draft Grades sum up Glennon’s prospects as a starter:
“Mike Glennon can backup Josh Freeman, but I think fans are way overstating it if they think Glennon can provide actual competition at this point. He needs some time.”
Three weeks is enough time, right Mike?
As justifiably overwhelmed as Glennon will likely be when he squats under center for the first time, this move really won’t have much impact of the fantasy value of the rest of the team. Doug Martin was already the lead dog in this offense, that won’t change. Glennon can’t be much worse than Freeman was at getting the ball to Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, their values have already dropped a bit, but shouldn’t dip much more.
The only big fantasy impact could be if Glennon has developed some chemistry with a second-team receiver and locks in on him during games. Kevin Ogletree and Russell Shepard are the most intriguing candidates for me, but there’s not really any way to know until the game gets underway. Players in deeper formats would be wise to keep an eye on their targets on Sunday.
Oh, and our buddy Brian Hoyer will get another start this week. Cheers, Josh Gordon owners.
Reggie Bush Will Play Sunday
It looks like Reggie Bush will be back on Sunday. Sorry, Joique Bell owners.
Bush proved in the first two weeks that no offseason signing is a better fit for his new offense; it’s as if the Detroit Lions scheme was designed specifically for his talents. The Chicago Bears are a good defense, but should still present a fairly friendly matchup for Bush.
The Bears are one of the few teams in the NFL that employ a cornerback with physical talent in the same zip code as All-Universe wideout Calvin Johnson. Charles Tillman will at least make Megatron work for it. Considering that Tillman and the Bears were smoked by A.J. Green and Antonio Brown in the last two weeks, I’d expect Chicago’s defensive game plan to focus first and foremost at keeping the ball away from Johnson, even more than it would otherwise. It won’t work, but it might make Matthew Stafford check it down once or twice more. With Nate Burleson out, those check downs will invariably end up in Bush’s hands. When that happens, this happens.
In other Detroit backfield news, the Lions have confirmed that Mikel LeShoure will continue to sport a baseball cap in depth chart purgatory. LeShoure is unsurprisingly unhappy about this, but he had his chance last season and was soundly supplanted by Bell. Unless you’re in an NFC North-only league, there’s no reason for LeShoure to be on your fantasy roster.
Pryor Misses Practice
Terrelle Pryor missed practice on Wednesday, still on the mend from the concussion he suffered on Monday night. ESPN’s Ed Werder is reporting that the Oakland Raiders may not have followed proper concussion protocol and Pryor has tweeted that he doesn’t remember much from the game, but that impending drama won’t have much impact on his fantasy value. Pryor will return to action as soon as he’s able. He’s attending team meetings this week, but hasn’t yet been cleared for contact.
If things continue as is, Matt Flynn will get the start on Sunday. Much like the Bucs’ situation, this really doesn’t change much for the fantasy value of the rest of the Raiders. If anything, I might actually bump Denarius Moore up slightly; Flynn is a more talented passer than Pryor.
DraftKings Defense/Special Teams Recommendations
If you’ve never played on DraftKings before, it’s time to start. You’re reading this column, so I know you like fantasy football, and new depositors will get a free ticket into a Millionaire Grand Final qualifier. Yeah, a free game just for making a minimum deposit. I think you’ve got some signing up to do, friend. Once you’re registered, check out the multitude of options DraftKings has to offer; I’m personally a big fan of the Double Up and Triple Up contests.
Week 3 wasn’t our best effort (Carolina was my last cut. Ugh.), but we nailed it with Chicago and New England, and the Jets were a solid low-cost option as well.
Let’s dive in to the Week 4 picks:
Sure, Brian Hoyer carved up Minnesota for 321 yards and three touchdowns, but the mediocre Vikings D got their shots in as well, sacking him three times and picking off three of his 55 passes. The Cincinnati Bengals ($4,400) are a much better defense; Geno Atkins will penetrate the middle of the Browns line and flush Hoyer out of the pocket and into mistakes. Despite facing three pretty darn good quarterbacks so far (Cutler, Roethlisberger, and Rodgers), the Bengals are tied for seventh in the league in picks.
I’ve written before that choosing fantasy defenses is as simple as following crappy quarterbacks. Whether you prefer DVOA, Total QBR, or good ole’ fashioned passer rating, Blaine Gabbert has been the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts ($4,400) aren’t quite as good as they looked defensively against the 49ers, but the Jacksonville Jaguars are every bit as bad as they seemed against the Seahawks, only this week, they’ll start a worse quarterback.
In his first start last season, Mike Glennon tossed four picks against the 114th-worst pass defense in the FBS. Something tells me he’s going to have similar problems in his first start this season, facing Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals ($4,100). Tampa has good receivers, but neither is really the “security blanket” type. If the Bucs are going to have any chance in this game, Glennon will have the throw the ball downfield. If Glennon has the throw the ball downfield, the Cardinals D has to put up fantasy points. It’s the transitive property… or something like that.
According to Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate, the Miami Dolphins have been the worst pass protection team in football. The New Orleans Saints ($3,800) have been quite good at getting to the quarterback, despite facing three opponents with above-average offensive lines (FO’s stats aren’t adjusted for opponent yet). The Saints aren’t known as a dependable fantasy defense, but they’ll be able to get to Ryan Tannehill this week and disrupt him into a few sacks and turnovers.
I’ve learned over the years that there’s a lot that Rex Ryan doesn’t know, but if that guy knows anything, it’s how to coach defense. Only Kansas City and Dallas have more sacks than Ryan’s New York Jets ($3,400) and only Seattle and Houston have allowed fewer yards per game. The Tennessee Titans weren’t expected to be much of a threat on offense, but Jake Locker has been surprisingly efficient; he has yet to throw an interception.
/a shadowy figure holds a shoe aloft, waits
However, he’s completed only 59.3% of his passes; every other passer with a completion percentage below 59.5% has tossed at least two picks.
Locker’s improvement is real, but his ball security will wane, starting this week. Lest we forget, he coughed the ball up 13 times in 11 games last season.
The Oakland Raiders ($3,000) have been a bit feistier than we expected, and it’s not just Terrelle Pryor. Jason Hunter, Lamarr Houston, and a bunch of other dudes you’ve probably never heard of have come together to form one of the better pass rushes in football. They’ll pressure Washington’s golden boy on Sunday and while a healthy Robert Griffin III can be deadly on the run, I think we’re still a week or two away from the RGIII breakout. He clearly doesn’t trust his knee in the running game and his footwork on pass plays remains absolutely horrid. Charles Woodson is getting up there in age, but he’s still more than capable of picking off one of two of Griffin’s high-sailing throws. This one’s a risk, but at this low investment level, it’s worth it.