Call it Randall Cobb to Jordy Nelson, or Julius Jones to Roddy White, generally having two of these guys makes an NFL team--and the players themselves--that much better as defenses have to figure out how to deal with both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Which also means the presence of a Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte add to the conundrum.
Over the course of this season, in the Kathy League Gifford, I have noticed something similar on defense, although the result is not a point generator.
In League Gifford, we play individual defensive players--three can be active per game--rather than a defensive unit. That means J.J. Watt can be a real bonanza, not just causing turnovers and creating sacks, but also scoring points.
Unfortunately, offensive coordinators seem to design plays and schemes around a direct confrontation with players like Sherman and Matthews which makes them valuable on the field, but makes it so they barely register three or four points for a couple of tackles each week as opposed to the cluster of interceptions and sacks we are used to seeing from the pair.
I confess, though I really love playing with these individual players rather than an entire unit simply because it is more fun to track a player than a defense. At least most of the time.
This Week's Watch: So, who are the players who grabbed my FAAB eye this week? Let's take a look.
Colt McCoy: In most leagues, third stringer McCoy leading a comeback charge over Tennessee would barely raise an eyebrow, but in the same League Gifford, where we must play a pair of QBs each week, and where the pool is virtually dry, he is worth me risking all my FAAB marbles in order to generate some points when Andrew Luck sits in a couple of weeks, provided McCoy is still starting in a couple of weeks. But, the logic is to make the move for the rights to him now (I sat on Mike Glennon and got burned, meaning it is time to be aggressive now). Much like Josh McCown came off the bench to spell Jay Cutler last year, or however Kirk Cousins did it when Robert Griffin III went down, now McCoy has some spotlight. If you are in a similar position, FAAB now and ask questions later.
Branden Oliver: I guess I am a little late on Oliver, but in a league where one week Matt Asiata is the next big thing, and a week later he is an afterthought, it is tough to know when to hold and when to fold (think Lorenzo Taliaferro). But, Oliver, the fourth RB to head the depth chart for the Chargers this year, seems to both have the job and fit in. He leads rookie rushers with 249 yards, all over just four games, and has three scores and a lock on the job, at least for now.
Doug Baldwin: I like Baldwin, and even drafted him on a few teams, but then dumped him due to inaction. Well, in the wake of the Percy Harvin disaster, he might just emerge as the go-to guy in more ways than just leading off the field. Baldwin had his best day of the season with seven catches for 123 yards and a score, and I think he emerges as the receiver who helps the Seahawks regroup and push for another title.
Golden Tate: An ex-Seahawk who is big and talented and who took advantage of Calvin Johnson's down time to register a big Week 7 with ten receptions, 154 yards and a TD, giving Tate his third 100-yard game over the past four weeks. Even when Megatron returns, Tate will now give the 1-2 depth punch I talked about above, and I think be productive.
Packers Defense: Defensive squads are so up and down, but I watched the Pack dismantle poor Cam Newton and the Carolina defense (both of whom I own in several leagues), playing just a great and aggressive game. Again, the Seahawks, and Chargers, and even Saints might look like they are struggling now (well, ok, they are) but this is the time of the season the good teams really organize their strengths after seeing what they have, and play like a team all over the field. Think the Panthers last year, for instance. Right now, think the Pack. If they are out there, grab them.