4th and Inches

The NFL 2015/2016 season is up and about, and with interest building on the back of Jarryd ‘The Hayne Plane’ Hayne, we’re confident that weekly articles celebrating everything NFL-fantasy-football-related is worth the effort. If you’re one of the (growing) minority who know your first downs from your linebackers, stick with us each week as we look at the quality performances in each position from a fantasy perspective on a weekly basis, including guys to consider drafting to your team for future success.

To the ‘hero’ position first off, and we’ll take a look at two QBs from last weekend who made us sit up and take notice. The obvious choice for the popular QB in our sights is Green Bay’s signal caller, the unruffled and incomparable Aaron RODGERS. In this first two rounds RODGERS scored a respectable 23.06 and 22.26 pts, however it was Round 3 against the Chiefs where he took his game to yet another level, scoring 34.92 pts on the back of 333 yards and five touchdowns. He’s being called the Michael Jordan of the NFL – can their ever be a higher compliment? If you have him, thank your lucky stars.

The QB to watch for this round is the Bills Tyrod TAYLOR. Recruited this season from the Baltimore Ravens, TAYLOR has been a revelation for the ever-improving Bills, having scored 15.90, 25.98 and 24.28 pts respectively so far this season to be ranked 5th amongst QBs. In only 28.7% of fantasy leagues, TAYLOR is a must have if you’re having QB issues.

Given that 20 pts is a stellar return for a RB, the Falcons Devonta FREEMAN could do no wrong last weekend in his matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, bringing home 37.3 pts for the game. 141 rushing yards and 52 receiving yards, together with 3 touchdowns is a pretty impressive feat. Owned by 81% of fantasy teams he’s not really one to target, but his owners must be celebrating this week.

Anyone remember Chris JOHNSON? The Cardinals RB had been plodding along in the first two rounds but exploded last week, carrying 20 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns and pulling in a very tidy 27 pts – albeit against the woeful San Francisco 49ers. He’s only owned by 8% of leagues and is risky – especially when Andre ELLINGTON returns from injury – but perhaps his time has come – again?

Ranked 4th in the league, the Cinci Bengals pass-catcher A.J. GREEN is owned in virtually every league, and finally he showed why last weekend. Having had a lukewarm start to the year, GREEN went nuts against the Ravens, totalling 227 yards and 2 touchdowns for the game, resulting in a whopping 34.70 pts. Nice work that, and with the Bengals on fire, his high scoring could be here to stay.

If your looking for a WR to recruit, look no further than Cleveland Brown’s Travis BENJAMIN. Currently ranked 6th by total points in the league, BENJAMIN is only owned in just over half the fantasy leagues despite already scoring 5 TDs for the season. Quieter last weekend, he is averaging just under 16 pts a game – which, to be honest, is surprising for a Browns player. He might not keep those figures up, but then again…he might just be worth the risk.

For once ‘The Gronk’ was outplayed, our TE of the week honours for week 3 going to Carolina big man Greg OLSEN. Pulling in 8 catches and scoring 2 touchdowns, OLSEN had a huge 25.40 pts last weekend, easily surpassing his combined output in rounds 1 and 2. Making the most of QB Cam NEWTON’s sparkling form, OLSEN could continue this type of scoring going forward, especially with the Panthers uninspiring Wide Receiver corp.

The TE with the most upside who is only selected in 18.2% of fantasy leagues is the Redskins Jordan REED. Solid scoring each week – 12.3, 8.2 and 9.6 pts – sees REED sitting comfortably in the 5th ranked spot amongst TE’s – and he is there for the taking in most formats if you want him. It’s an unpredictable position in terms of fantasy scoring, but REED could be the answer to your prayers.

These two positions are too unpredictable for our liking, so the way we see it any in depth assessment is not really worth the effort. Either take the chance and stick with who you have for the whole season – sometimes you will succeed, sometimes you will fail – or got the opposite route and pick those kickers and defensive units who have the highest predicted score for the coming week, and change them on a weekly basis. The choice is yours…

Finally a quick look – for those of you invested in NFL Moneyball competitions – at those players who on dollar value look to provide excellent worth in the coming weekends games. If you’re in it to win it, take a close look at QBs Andy DALTON ($7,100) and Blake BORTLES ($6,400), RBs Joseph RANDLE ($6,900) and Devonta FREEMAN ($6,500), WR’s Brandon MARSHALL ($7,400), Steve SMITH ($6,700) and Larry FITZGERALD ($6,000), and TEs Travis KELCE ($6,000) and Tyler EIFERT ($5,000).

Click here to play, good luck and remember to gamble responsibly!

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