Tag Archives: Adrian Peterson

Fantasy Football Outlook for Week 4 in the NFL

By: Jon

Quarterback:

The quarterback position had a solid week three because there were nine players who scored over 20 points. Many quarterbacks were able to succeed this week because of the quarterback’s dual threat ability. This week, quarterbacks may not experience similar success because many of the top quarterbacks are facing difficult defenses.

Top Quarterback:

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning will be the best quarterback this week. Last week, I thought Manning would be the top quarterback. Although he did not meet my expectations, he finished fourth with 24 points. However, Manning would have recorded the most points if he did not stop throwing in the second half. This week, Manning will probably have to pass for the whole game. The Broncos are playing the Eagles this week at home. The Eagles possess one of the worst defenses in the league. Opposing quarterbacks, Griffin, Rivers, and Smith, have averaged 18 points against the Eagles this season. However, Manning is a significantly better quarterback than the other players. Manning has been extremely consistent this season. With the help of the best receiving core in the league, Manning has been the best player in the league. Manning does not need to take risks because his receivers are great at finding holes in the defense and exposing the flaws in the opposing team’s defense. Manning has thrown 12 touchdowns, while only throwing 1 interception, and over 300 yards each season. Manning should have a great week and produce for every fantasy owner.

Quarterback with a Risk:

Matthew Stafford will not fulfill the expectations that ESPN laid out for him this week. Stafford is suppose to record 19 points against the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN. However, I do not see Stafford recording more than 15 points. Stafford has been the sixth best fantasy quarterback this season, but he has played mediocre competition, Min, Ari, and Was. Although the Bears do not resemble the 85 Bears, they are a team that knows how to take the ball away from the offense. Stafford has been known as a risk taker and a quarterback who throws interceptions. The Bears secondary should be ready intercept a few passes. The Bears have allowed an average of 14 points per game to quarterbacks this season. Stafford will be out without top running back Reggie Bush for the game this week. When Stafford has been without a running back, he has not been as successful a quarterback. Matt will have his struggles this game so owners should be wary starting him this week.

Underrated Quarterback:

Tony Romo should have his second straight 20 point game when he plays the San Diego Chargers this week. Last week, Romo threw for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns, while accumulating 20 fantasy points. Romo will have another successful game this week because the Chargers are a horrible defense. The Chargers have been the worst team against quarterback this season. This season, the Chargers have yet to hold a quarterback under 23 fantasy points. The Chargers have not even played great quarterbacks during their first few weeks, Schaub, Vick, and Locker. The receiving core for the Cowboys is starting to become a serious threat, which will help Romo. Although Bryant has not been great this season, he is a dynamic wide receiver that can score on any possession. Witten is a steady pass catcher, especially on third down. Romo should be able to feast against the Chargers and score about 24 points this week. Unless a owner has a top 3 quarterback, I would start Romo, even over quarterbacks Matt Ryan, Vick, and Griffin.

Other underrated QBs: Luck, Rivers, Manuel, and Griffin (Pryor if healthy)

Running Back:

The running backs did not have a great week, as only 3 of them recorded 20 fantasy points. However, there looks a number of running backs this week will eclipse the 20 point barrier. Owners should start the running back in the flex this week because of the multitude of good options.

Top Running Back:

Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson has yet to breakout and have a signature game this season. Week one, Peterson did run for 2 touchdowns and caught 1 TD, but he only ran for 93 yards, one attempt was for 70+ yards. Peterson should be given a lot of touches this week as the Vikes travel across the pond to play the Steelers in London. Although Peterson is the third ranked running back, the last two weeks he has combined to 22 fantasy points while fumbling twice and recording only 1 touchdown. The Vikings will be forced to start Matt Cassel at quarterback because of the injury to starter Christian Ponder. Cassel is a bad quarterback so Leslie Frazier will probably call Peterson number at least 25 times this game. The Steelers have been horrible this season at stopping the run. The Steelers are the 4th worst fantasy defense against the rush this season. Every running back has recorded at least 95+ yards and 1 touchdown against the Steelers. Peterson should be looking to capitalize on the amount of touches he receives and the lack of physicality from the Steelers. Peterson ail record over 25 fantasy points this week.

Overrated Running Back:

Chris Johnson should be avoided by fantasy owners this week as the Titans play the Jets at home. Johnson has not been very good this season. Chris has yet to record more than 10 points, rush for 100 yards, or score a touchdown during his first three games. Johnson does not seem to have the burst that made him one of the premier running backs a few years ago. In fantasy football, it is extremely difficult to have big fantasy days without scoring touchdowns. The Titans running backs have only reached the back of the end zone one time during the first few weeks. Although Johnson receives a lot of carries, he has is not given the ball near the end zone and has done very little with his carries. Last week, Jake Locker had one of his best games of his career. The Titans should be looking to give him more passing attempts, which will take chances away from Johnson. Chris will also be playing the Jets. The Jets have been one of the best fantasy defenses against the run, 8.3 points per game. I do not expect Johnson to record double digits so owners should keep him on the bench.

Running Back that should be started:

Darren McFadden should be started by every fantasy owner this week against the Washington Redskins. After a bizarre week where McFadden had more fantasy points than rushing yards, Darren should have a solid game for the Raiders. The Raiders will be forced to rely upon McFadden, especially if Pryor cannot play this week. McFadden will be given more carries, even if Pryor plays, because the Oakland coaching staff will not want Pryor running, while injured. Although McFadden has only recorded more than 50 yards once this season, he has recorded two touchdowns and at least 10 fantasy points every week. However, McFadden should have his best game of the season against the Redskins this week. The Skins have let running backs score at least 18 points during every game this season, 3rd to worst in the league. McFadden is expected to score 18 points according to ESPN. However, I believe he may be able to reach 20 points if the Raiders give him the ball inside the red zone this week.

Other underrated RBs: MJD, Powell, Forte, and Richardson

Wide Receivers:

Week 3 was a strange week for receivers as none of the top six receivers from last week were started in more than 65% of leagues. This looks like a good week for wide receivers as many of the top guys are playing easy competition.

Top Wide Receiver:

Dez Bryant
Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant should be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL for week 4. The stud wide receiver is facing the San Diego Chargers on the road. For the first time all season, Bryant’s status is not being questioned because of his nagging foot injury. When healthy Bryant is one of the most dynamic receivers in the game because of his physical attributes and skill. Although Bryant has not had huge receiving games in terms of yardage, Dez has scored a touchdown in each of the last two weeks. San Diego has been torched by stud wide receivers during the first three weeks of the schedule. In week 1, Andre Johnson tallied 146 yards in receiving and 14 fantasy points. In week 2, DeSean Jackson had 193 yards and a touchdown while recording 25 fantasy points. Dez should be the next wide out to benefit owners as the Chargers do not have a corner that can stop his physicality and skill.

Wide Receiver unlikely to meet expectations:

Larry Fitzgerald should not be started by fantasy owners unless they are absolutely desperate at wide receiver this week. Fitz has been bothered by a nagging hamstring over the last two games. After a great week 1, Fitz has totaled only nine points over the last two weeks. This week, it does not become easier for him as he must line up against Darrelle Revis, the top corner in the league. Revis Island looks great this season as the team’s top wide receivers rarely catches the ball. Although ESPN expects Larry to record 12 points, I believe he will only score 5 or less. Revis will be blanketing Larry and Carson Palmer does not have the skill to fit the ball into tight windows. Besides Revis, the Bucs have a lot of good players in their secondary, like Mark Barron and Deshon Goldson. With all of the obstacles in Larry’s way, hamstring, Revis, and bad QB, Larry should ride the bench for another week.

Wide Receiver destined to surprise owners:

Torrey Smith has a good chance of having a big game for the Ravens this week against the Buffalo Bills. Smith has been an extremely consistent receiver, but as not recorded a touchdown this season. Smith has tallied 9,8, and 9 points during the first three weeks of the season. This week, Smith is due for a touchdown. The Bills have been torched by wide receivers all season. The Bills have allowed more than 30 points to receivers twice in the last three weeks. Last week, the Jets had two receivers that had more than 15 fantasy points, which is a lot for a poor passing team. Flacco will be pressured to throw the ball since Ray Rice is recovering from an injury. Luckily, Smith is one of the few receivers that has big play ability on the Ravens. The Bills have lost a number of players in their secondary so Smith should be able to record a few big plays. Smith should record at least 15 points this week so fantasy owners should put him in their starting roster.

Other wide receivers: Garcon, Moore, Decker, and Bowe

Tight Ends:

The tight ends had a disappointing week as only 5 of them recorded more than 10 points. However, two tight ends, Cameron and Graham, recorded more than 20 points in their respective games.

Best:

Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham will look to continue his success as the Saints take on the Miami Dolphins this week on Monday Night Football. Graham has been, by far, the best fantasy tight end, 59 points, through the first three games of the season. Graham has been incredibly consistent this year. Through the first three games, Graham has scored 4 touchdowns and managed at least 23 fantasy points the last two weeks. Last week, he fulfilled my expectations and scored the most fantasy points among tight ends, as I expected. Graham has another favorable matchup this week against the Dolphins. The Dolphins have allowed a touchdown to a tight end during each of their first three games. The Dolphins are ranked 29th against fantasy tight ends. The streak should continue since Brees and Graham have a connection that cannot be stopped. Fantasy owners should rely on Graham to put up at least 17 points this week.

Overrated:

Owen Daniels should be benched this week by fantasy owners. Daniels and the Texans are facing the Seattle Seahawks at home. The Seahawks defense is absolutely nasty, but particularly great against opposing tight ends. Tight ends average less than 3 points per game against the Seahawks and they have yet to score a touchdown. If Daniels was a great tight end, I may take a chance on him and start him this week. However, Daniels’ production has steadily decreased during every week of the season. After a great week one, Daniels has yet to tally more than 30 yards receiving in a game. Daniels’ touches will be diminished because of the emergence of DeAndre Hopkins and the return of Andre Johnson. The talented wide receivers are going to take receptions from Daniels, which hurts his fantasy value.

Underrated:

Heath Miller is one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL. Miller is Roethlisberger’s favorite target because he catches everything that is thrown his way and records first downs. After missing the first two games, Miller returned last week, but was ineffective. However, Miller should be huge for the Steelers against the Vikings in London. The Vikes have been the 31st best defense at stopping opposing fantasy tight ends. Fantasy tight ends have averaged about 17 points per game against the Vikings this season. Miller should be no exception. Miller’s reliabilty and ability to find openings near the red zone should result in a touchdown and double digit fantasy points.

Other TE options: Gates, Witten, Chandler, and Fleener

 

pics and stats from espn.com

2013-2014 Minnesota Vikings Preview

By: Prad

 

Projected Record: 9-7

NFC North Rank: Tied with Bears for 2nd

The Vikings made the playoffs last season in Week 17 after a win against their division rivals. Although Minnesota ruined the undefeated mark that the Green Bay Packers held in the NFC North, that wasn’t the biggest story line. The story line of note that every NFL fan followed in the final week of last season was RB Adrian Peterson’s attempt at breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record. Even though, Peterson fell eight yards shy of tying Dickerson’s mark, the Vikings clinched a playoff berth, something they hadn’t done since 2009. Ultimately though, they were futile in their efforts of advancing to the Division Round, a wild card loss coming at the hands of coincidentally, the Packers. This year, the Vikings will finish the season above .500, but will fail to reach the postseason because of a deep NFC.

The Minnesota Vikings will become better contenders when QB Christian Ponder refines his talent Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
The Minnesota Vikings will become better contenders when QB Christian Ponder becomes more refined
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

In order for the Vikings to compete at a high level in one of the most difficult divisions in the league, their quarterback needs to develop into a more complete one. QB Christian Ponder isn’t required to be responsible for the majority of the offensive burden, which is a nice feeling for a QB. The position has become relied on heavier in the NFL during recent times and the majority of team’s are going with the aerial attack far more frequently than the rushing game. Ponder finished 24th in quarterback rating (81.2) last season among starting quarterbacks. Obviously, not every quarterback has a rusher that attains 2,000 yards, but for Ponder not to even surpass the 3,000 yard mark in passing is embarrassing. It’s rare in the NFL that the disparity in yardage between the passing game and rushing game is less than a 1,000 yards. The Vikings secured a viable backup when they got QB Matt Cassel this offseason. Perhaps, Cassel could even spark some competition for the role and Ponder could potentially use this as motivation to keep his starting job and increase his production immensely.

WR Greg Jennings will be the #1 receiver Courtesy of Zimbio
WR Greg Jennings will be the #1 receiver this upcoming season
Courtesy of Zimbio

Unfortunately for him, his leading receiver from a season ago, WR Percy Harvin was traded this offseason to the Seattle Seahawks. But, the Vikings did a decent job replacing him by acquiring WR Greg Jennings this offseason, who inked a 5 year-$47.5 million deal. In seven seasons with Green Bay, Jennings caught 425 passes for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns. He is a proven deep threat, who can boost Christian Ponder’s TD numbers from last season, which stood at a mediocre 18. This attests to his general underachieving nature, since the average starting QB threw for 27 last year. Peterson didn’t even take a drastic amount away from Ponder, getting only 12 TDs all of last season. If Ponder can develop a better pocket presence in the redzone, it would tremendously improve the versatility of this offense.

RB Adrian Peterson will go for the 2,000 yard club again Courtesy of ESPN
RB Adrian Peterson will attempt to go for the 2,000 yard club again
Courtesy of ESPN

AP is the best running back the game has seen in a while, some even say the best since Barry Sanders, which would effectively make him the best since the turn of the century. To prove people wrong who say that last season’s numbers was a fluke, Peterson’s goal is for 2,500 yards this season. While I don’t believe that 2,500 is attainable, 2,000 yards is plausible. This will make NFL history as nobody in the game has ever reached the 2,000 yard rushing mark more than once. That would prove the people who aren’t already believers in Peterson, which is a tiny minority. In his six year career, Peterson has averaged 1,475 yards a season, which makes his career total 8,849 yards. In that time period, Peterson has rushed for more yards than any other halfback in the league. These statistics should prove his naysayers wrong and secure him an entrance to the Hall of Fame in Canton by the age of 28.

The Vikings' defensive prowess will have to be on full display this season Courtesy of Associated Press
The Vikings’ defensive prowess will have to be on full display this season
Courtesy of Associated Press

A major reason for the Vikings going 10-6 last season despite a lack of touchdowns through the passing game and a rushing attack that wasn’t top tier in regards to rushing touchdowns, was their lock-down defense. All-Pro DE Jared Allen highlights this defensive unit, which ranked in the top 10 in rushing defense and 5th in sacks. They allowed only 105.8 rushing yards per game and sacked opposing quarterbacks 44 times throughout last season. Their defensive line is a proven presence that can poke holes in opposing offensive lines and make them look inferior. Although this is probably the best part of the defense, their linebacker group is impressive as well, which is led by LB Chad Greenway. Greenway led the team in tackles last year with a whopping 148, which stands at a tie for second in the league with San Francisco’s LB NaVorro Bowman and behind only Carolina’s LB Luke Kuechly (164).

Former FSU CB Xavier Rhodes Courtesy of SB Nation
Former FSU CB Xavier Rhodes
Courtesy of SB Nation

An issue with this defense seems to be the secondary. They didn’t force enough takeaways last year through the air, only intercepting 10 passes all of last season. To make matters worse, the Vikings released, CB Antoine Winfield, who signed with the Seahawks and was released by them too and subsequently retired. Winfield amassed 101 tackles last season, leading the cornerback group, but three tackles behind FS Harrison Smith. The Vikings have not taken adequate measures to fill the void left by Antoine Winfield. GM Rick Spielman drafted CB Xavier Rhodes, who could not possibly match Winfield’s production because of a lack of experience despite much potential. Rhodes is set to be #3 or #4 on the depth chart, but has a lot of room to improve in this secondary. Overall though, this defense needs to be as effective as it was last year for the Vikings to stay in postseason contention until late in the season.

Last year, the Vikings held a 4-2 mark in the NFC North. Look for them to repeat that record this year with one loss coming to the Chicago Bears and another at the hands of Green Bay. Adrian Peterson is the best player in the NFL, but he can’t single-handily will his team to the postseason again without support from QB Ponder. This defense can maintain the proficiency they were known for last season, in spite of the departure of a leading cornerback in the secondary. The Vikings are capable of dethroning the Packers and surprising the NFC North, but much of their success is contingent upon the competency of QB Christian Ponder.