Oh how fickle are the fantasy football gods, sneering at us while Alex Smith outscores Matt Ryan. As usual, my teams suffer the issue of monster success the first couple of weeks, followed by what appears to be malaise, and then just mediocrity.
Of course, this doesn't mean that I did not spot some interesting players over the past week, and since you would likely rather hear about them than my up-and-down teams, well, let's start with the Packers and their WR, Ty Montgomery. A second-year player, out of Stanford, Montgomery caught ten of 12 targets for 66 yards, but then filled in at Running Back, nabbing nine carries for another more than respectable yardage total. Montgomery is available in 80% of ESPN leagues, meaning if you have a hole, Ty might be the fix. And, those fickle gods might dictate we never hear from Montgomery again (somehow, I think otherwise, though).
The two Sunday games I followed most closely were the Raiders facing the Jaguars, and then later the fantastic Chargers/Falcons match-up. Certainly, the Raiders improving defense gave Blake Bortles some grief, along with top receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. But Bortles was able to connect with third WR, Marqise Lee, targeting him eight times, connecting on seven for 107 yards. Lee is still a third wheel at best, and the Raiders secondary has been maligned, but is actually better than the numbers in that the big play has been their death. But, if the Jags are facing a vulnerable secondary, Lee becomes a good and cheap play.
Speaking of Marqise, the Bills' Marquise Goodwin had a solid Sunday, bagging four targets for 93 yards and his second score of the season. Goodwin is seriously fast--a former Olympic track team member--and has garnered 258 yards on just 12 receptions. Buffalo has a strong passing game for sure (I am a huge Tyrod Taylor fan) but Goodwin is no safer a pick than is Lee. Meaning either could be a good low-end DFS play, depending upon the opponent, but barring filling an injury or bye slot, neither is worthy of regular play at this juncture.
The Chargers overtime win over the Falcons was the killer game of the week (like last week's Panthers/Saints contest) and the big difference in the Chargers passing game was the emergence of second-year pass catcher Tyrell Williams. Williams caught seven passes for 140 yards, his biggest production this season, giving the speedster 540 total receiving yards for the season, putting him on "target" for a 1,000 yard year. Williams makes a solid play and pick-up.
Looking at another Charger, who is my individual defensive discovery this week, Denzel Perryman, another second-year player, though this time a linebacker, out of Miami, bagged six tackles and a pick against the Falcons on Sunday. He was all over the field and has 19 tackles so far this season, plus a sack to go with the Matt Ryan pick.
Looking locally, the Raiders have a lot of bodies in their backfield among DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard and Latavius Murray, and things seemed extra cloudy with Murray, who was not the new kid on the block, hurting the last couple of weeks and missing play. This allowed the spotlight to shine on Richard and Washington, who were ok, but Murray returned on Sunday, picking up 59 yards, two TDs, and catching a pair of passes, re-establishing himself as the go-to guy in the Oakland backfield.
Poor Kevin Hogan, who only gets virtual ink because he is now at the helm of the hapless Browns offense thanks to Cody Kessler's concussion. Pressed into untimely service, the rookie out of Stanford did complete 12 of 14 for 100 yards, and perhaps more impressively ran for 107 yards and a score on seven carries. Hogan did throw a pair of picks, but it is a good bet he gets the start next Sunday against the Jets, and I, for one, am going to check him out. His team is bad now, but Hogan might be a good stash in a keeper league.
Finally, I have long been a fan of Jacquizz Rodgers, who was one of those guys who would have a good game, and then do nothing for five weeks, thus resulting in bouncing around some. Well, Rodgers is the back in Tampa these days and he just scored a monster effort with 154 yards gained on 15 carries. This is Rodgers' second 100-yard game in a row, and I am happy he is doing well. But, Rodgers is also marking time till the return of Doug Martin. Maybe he is a DFS selection next Sunday, but Martin is due back shortly. More to the point, Rodgers gained his yards facing the Niners, who have the worst rushing defense this side of Alpha Centuri.
Don't forget you can hit me up @lawrmichaels.