Man Up/ Step Aside: Thursday Night Edition
Thursday night games have been a snooze fest rather than an exciting brand of football to say the least. Besides opening night for the NFL, the traditional divisional games for several weeks is nothing to rave about. This season we’ve got some interesting games that aren’t the usual division games that we’re accustomed to seeing from the get go, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are messy.
Besides the Pats/Chiefs that provided numerous fireworks in Week 1, Week 2 gave us hope of the high-powered offense of the Bengals going head-to-head with a young and exciting Texans team led by DeAndre Hopkins, and that we would get some what of a shoot out. Instead we got “I’m allergic to the end zone” Andy Dalton, and a rookie in Deshaun Watson getting his first start in the NFL which wasn’t as exciting as he thought it would be assuming he got some more excitement from Mia Khalifa prior to kickoff.
As for us fantasy enthusiasts who were counting on both teams to bounce back, we quickly started A.J Green, DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller and Tyler Eifert etc. But by the start of the second half we were quickly let down, and instead of happiness and hope, we were left with regret and loneliness. It’s like finally asking out the girl we keep awkwardly staring at in the cereal aisle at the grocery store. Nervously deciding whether to ask her for her number, or foolishly back out. Except this time you realize you may never see her again, so you go for it and she says yes! So you take her out for dinner and some drinks, and by the end of the night you’re ready to walk her into your place, but before you even walk her to the car she quickly gives you the Heisman pose and chunks the deuce leaving you with the tab and blue balls. That is the feeling I get from watching TNF.
Sorry for derailing the purpose of this article the point is regardless of how bad and ugly Thursday night games are we all have players that we’re relying on to give us an edge to start off the week, or maybe a simple daily play. So I may not be able to help you with the bar tab that you’re stuck with, but I can lend out some advice on who’s going to Man up, and who’s going to step Aside tomorrow night.
*Fun fact in the last two weeks both underdogs who were on the road won. Being that the 49ers are the underdogs I’m not to sure how tomorrow will play out, but it’s something to think about.
The speedy receiver out of Eastern Washington did not provide the spark that we saw in Week 1, but Kupp remains the favorite for sophomore QB Jared Goff. Kupp only had three catches in Week 2 but with the targets he’s receiving, and the Rams facing a tough divisional foe who’s played some stiff defenses, I would plug-in Kupp as a flex play who’s going to play a factor in the short yardage passing game.
Going into Seattle I’m assuming most fantasy owners benched Hyde as they had better options. Nine rushes for 45 yards was really discouraging in Week 1, but for those that had the guts to start him in Week 2 were rewarded with a fringe RB1 performance in which Hyde ran for 124 yards on 15 carries. On a short week, and facing another tough defense, you’ve got to start Hyde knowing he’s the only thing that keeps this offense moving.
The 49ers may be better defensively than offensively, but just like Hyde, Todd Gurley had a great performance in Week 2 producing as a fringe RB1 as well. It’s not just the rushing, Gurley has improved his pass catching and is a consistent target for Jared Goff.
So after some of these big no-brainer names I dropped, let’s go back to primary reason of this article which is to include some of those not so popular or well-known names that won’t be started in a high percentage of leagues. Please don’t assume that I’m saying you must pick up Kittle and start him immediately, but with the lack of pass catchers in the 49ers offense, and Pierre Garçon probably seeing double teams, Kittle is not only the primary tight end, he’s also an interesting name and player to stash if you can afford the spot on your roster. We’ve seen some weird things on Thursday night games such as Larry Donnell from a few years back, so if you my friend are bold enough to start Kittle I applaud you.
Ten-to-Twelve man leagues ignore this. This is mainly for the 14-16 teamers that have the option of playing two QB’s, and if you haven’t learned by now stay away! After throwing for 99 yards in Week 2 I’m assuming Kyle Shanahan is treating this like the Blake Bortles situation and may just hand the ball off to Carlos Hyde 100 times a game. I’d keep digging on the waiver for other options.
Ehh this pains me to say, but we’re going to have to wait at least another week before we start seeing my man Sammy Watkins on the Man Up section. I just don’t like the matchup on a short week and on the road. In the first two games Watkins only has seven receptions for 88 yards and no touchdowns. The chemistry isn’t there yet, and it could be another frustrating day for Watkins and for the fantasy owners who are rolling him out there.
Just like last weeks 13-9 game we saw between the Bengals and Texans I expect the score to be somewhat similar between these two teams. The fact the Hoyer couldn’t muster 100 yards regardless of matchup is simply embarrassing. Numerous people drafted Garçon hoping that he and Shanahan reuniting would mirror to the success they had in Washington, but it’s not that simple, so for that reason and from what I’ve seen I’m simply stepping away, and if you have the cojones to start him good luck!
Orlando Torres covers Fantasy Football and the NFL for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @ItsLandoYo