At the beginning of the season, I was saying that fantasy players needed to pay attention to the trend that the NFL moving to more of a passing game.  When we looked at the first two weeks of the season, there were twenty-four 300 yard passing performances and six 400 yard passing performances.  Wide receivers had thirty 100 yard performances with forty-two different receivers having 7 or more reception days.  Wide receivers scored 67 TDs and 34 players at the position had over 20 points in a PPR league.  Tight ends were booming even more by scoring 34 TDs and having 11 TEs with more than 20 points.

In stark contrast, the last two weeks, the league has gotten back to the running game.  Quarterbacks had only eleven 300 Yard passing performances and three 400 yard passing performances. Wide receivers had twenty-one 100 yard performances with ONLY thirteen different receivers having 7 or more reception days.  Wide receivers scored just 51 TDs and ONLY 20 players at the position had over 20 points in a PPR league.  Tight ends dragged too by scoring 22 TDs and havingjust 6 TEs with more than 20 points.

Looking at the Outsiders

After seeing this, I looked to see what happened.  It is only two weeks, but it is a stark contrast.  Well, a lot of players, especially quarterbacks were on the outside looking in until the conflict that was Week 6. They were outsiders.  This made me think of the movie that was before the brat pack movies of the 1980s; was directed by Francis Ford Coppola; and had all these stars in it before their BREAKOUT:

  • Tom Cruise before Risky Business or Top Gun
  • Patrick Swayze before Dirty Dancing
  • Matt Dillon before The Flamingo Kid
  • Ralph Maccio before The Karate Kid
  • Diane Lane before The Cotton Club
  • C Thomas Howell before Red Dawn
  • Rob Lowe and Emilio Estevez before St. Elmo’s Fire

In The Outsiders, two rival gangs get into a dispute over... what else...a girl named Cherry.  This starts a chain reaction that changes the town and all their lives forever.  Like when Ponyboy quotes Robert Frost to Johnny by saying “Nature’s first green is gold / Her hardest hue to hold / Her early leaf’s a flower / But only so an hour”, sometimes players hit Gold but only for a very short time.  Our hour is a week in this case.

So, let’s take a look at some of the Outsiders from Week 6 and see if they will hit Gold.  We will look at week 6 players who were not projected in the Top 10 and decide if they will make box office smash movies like Tom Cruise or end up in TV and B movies like C Thomas Howell.



A Closer Look at the Outsiders

At QB, Dalton, Flacco and Palmer were all likely drafted as QB2s.  Stafford belongs in the Top 10 depending on matchup and obviously was removed because of the health of Calvin Johnson.  He made the Top 10 because of throwing three TDs to a TE that had a mismatch in the red zone.  They were drafted as QB2s and think they still are.  The only surprise here is Nick Foles.  If he plays in that offense, he will score points.  If Vick comes back as the starter, then Foles can go back to your bench.

At RB, Knowshon, Ridley and Gio were all in the Top 25 so those breaking the Top 10 in this week should not have surprised too many.  For those who spent early on Ridley, don’t be upset if you benched him as you will have him all season now if he can stay healthy.  Jacobs and Ogbonnaya are anomalies here, but Ellington could be a flex play in future weeks.  He is good and Mendenhall, not so much.  He is a low end Flex play.

At WR, V-Jax, D-Jax and Jordy should not surprise anyone.  If you didn’t see Blackmon or Gordon coming, I have to ask: “what rock are you living under?”  The interesting one is Brandon LaFell.  He gets TDs and points, but his routes are awful and he makes so many mistakes.  Maybe he is more CRUISE than HOWELL, I just don’t trust him.  Riley Cooper is Riley Cooper.  Don’t be fooled.

Now, we look at the TEs, especially for those fantasy players who are cycling TEs. I have one league that I am doing that in.  I carry three TEs Miller, Rudolph and Cook.  Played Cook this week…but now that Rudolph and Miller both looked good, I might use the roster spot to grab another WR.  Fauria showed he can make plays in the red zone, but those were his only catches.  Same with Chandler, he knows how to find the end zone.  Use these TEs in STD leagues only.

We learned a lot this week.  We learned that each week things change.  The trend of a passing league has changed in the last two weeks and now we need to monitor whether the league is getting back to a running league or it was an anomaly of the matchups.  We learned that when picking your players for your flex, or your WR3, make sure you look to the outsiders to see which players might turn to Gold first or stay Gold when they first come out.  Do like Johnny tells us in the last words of the script…

Stay Gold, Pony Boy, Stay Gold

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