The power of information and analysis allows fantasy players to be more sophisticated in their decision making processes.  When playing in my first league back in 1991, we had limited access to information like depth charts, projections and especially how the coaches’ game plans would affect a player’s performance.  Our first scoring system was real scoring only.  Your player had a TD, you got points.  As a group of computer science geeks at an IBM company, one of our league mates determined that since Miami Dolphins’ kicker Pete Stoyanovich was the highest scoring player in the league he should draft him first.  He freaking won.  It wasn’t a smart strategy, but sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

The point here is to always be ready to adjust with the times.  This year, no one thought that Ray Rice would have only 89 rushing yards in three games and have missed one.  Well, in looking at the film, the offensive line is, in a word, awful.  The Ravens put their team on notice that winning last season was not enough.  They made a BIG move.  Now it could be argued that the already have the ultimate left tackle, at least in pop culture.  Hell, they made a movie about the current right tackle Michael Oher and his ability to protect The Blind Side.  When Ozzie Newsome was able to acquire the Jaguars’ Eugene Monroe for $547,000 for the rest of the season, it sent the message that it is “GO TIME”. It might also be GO TIME for Brian McKinnie. 

So what does this mean for Ray Rice?


To me, it means it is GO TIME for your fantasy football team.  In the words of Sean Touhy from The Blind Side: “Michael's gift is his ability to forget. He's mad at no one and he really doesn't care happened in the past.”  We need to forget the past games in this case.  We know that Rice is a great player.  We know that Miami’s defensehas allowed 31.7 points in a PPR to running backs on average each week. We need to take Ray Rice.

My Fantasy 100 - Roster

If you read all the drivel above this, wow, thank you.  It is not too late to play and win The Fantasy 100.  They take the best 10 weeks’ scores and aggregate them.  Then take the Top 10% and put them in the Playoffs to play a three week contest for $10,000.  Then they take the Top 10% after that and place them in a Consolation Playoffs to play a three week contest for $2,500.  So GAME ON.  

So to this week’s picks.  There are two games that will have a ton of offensive output: Cowboys at Broncos and Eagles at Giants.  We call these “everyone in the pool” games.  Play all offensive players when possible.  There is one defense that let’s up a ton of points: Jaguars.  So, we play the Rams DT and Jared Cook.  Then, there are two teams coming off a BYE week which gives players more time to prepare (QBs) and injured players especially RBs a chance to get healthy. Then we noticed that Trent Richardson is way undervalued, so we will take him.  After that, we use the weekly points allowed chart to make final decisions on values.


Everybody in the Pool

LeSean McCoy – Tier 1 – McCoy had a down week last week, but he gets the magic elixir that is the New York Football Giants.  Expect big offensive numbers for all the skill players on Philly.

DeSean Jackson – Tier 3 – Jackson has been fast, tough and magnificent in the fast paced Chip Kelly offense.  I expect that he will run all over the Giant defense this week.  Wanted to take Cruz in this spot, but as Tier 1, we couldn’t afford to push down our other players.

Dez Bryant – Tier 1 – Every team this year has fallen behind the Denver Broncos.  The Cowboys are no different.  When they are down, Romo drops back and throws to Bryant and the other team’s DBs.  Bryant will have more catches than the other guys.

Coming Off the Bye Week

Cam Newton - Tier 5 – Could take Romo or Eli as they had good value and were part of the “everybody in the pool” games.  You could take Manning or Vick here too, but then you have to take Broncos not named Demaryius.  I think Thomas will be big again as the LBs of the Cowboys will keep the middle of the field covered.

Eddie Lacy – Tier 7 – Lacyhas been injured and is now cleared to play.  They are at home today hosting Detroit who allows 27.7 pts in a PPR to RBs.

Using the Numbers

Ray Rice – Tier 5 – New OL this week.  Coach committing a game plan to him.  Disappointing season.  Dolphins give up 31.7 pts per game to RBs.

Justin Blackmon – Tier 6 – Needed to consider Cecil Shorts here too.  He is the most targeted WR in football.  Blackmon is a difference maker and a much better threat to score TDs. The Rams allow 40+ pts per game to WRs.

Trent Richardson – Tier 7 – Tough defense with Seahawks.  Only third week for Richardson with his new team.  Can’t beat the value here though.  For a Tier 7 player, you will get 20 touches for one of the best RBs in the league.  We know he is the guy who scores so we think he will have close to 20 points which for a Tier 7 is GREAT.

Protecting Your Blindside

So, remember, Fantasy Football is about making the games more fun to watch.  Heck if you can win cash and have fun, that is FANTASTIC.  The important thing is to not only be courageous but do it with honor.  Don’t be afraid to take chances.  When they pay off it is even more fun.  Always do it with honor.  In the words of Michael Oher, the most well-known protector of the blind side, “I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that's the real reason for you either do something or you don't. It's who you are and maybe who you want to be. If you die trying for something important, then you have both honor and courage, and that's pretty good.”  All the world can ask of you is to…

Do your best and live with the results.


Rick Wolf, Co-Host of Colton & The Wolfman - Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio  The Fantasy 100Rick Wolf is a leader in the fantasy sports industry. Wolf is a founding Board Member and one of only fifteen FSTA Hall of Famers including Bill James and Matthew Berry. Wolf’s career accomplishments include starting the fantasy sports division at SportsLine USA that became CBS SportsLine, incubating Rotoworld to become the #1 fantasy sports news site, and spearheading the sale of Allstar Stats/Rotoworld to NBC Sports in 2006.  With college friend and fellow Hall of Famer, Glenn Colton, the team has won 7 expert titles in baseball and football. Twitter: RickWolf1