Salford Bloggers start or sit?: Week 9

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Week 9 matchup

Abergele JETS (5-3) vs. Salford Bloggers (3-5)

 

Projected lineup for Abergele JETS

QB: Andrew Luck (IND, @ NYG)

RB: Arian Foster (HOU, vs. PHI)

RB: Jeremy Hill (CIN, vs. JAC)

WR: Antonio Brown (PIT, vs. BAL)

WR: Greg Jennings (MIN, vs. WSH)

TE: Jared Cook (STL, @ SF)

FLEX: James Jones (OAK, @ SEA)

D/ST: Texans D/ST (HOU, vs. PHI)

K: Mason Crosby (GB, BYE)

 

Salford Bloggers

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Quarterback (QB): Tony Romo (DAL, vs. ARI), Philip Rivers (SD, @ MIA)

Philip Rivers is potentially a risky play. Not only will he be under center for the Chargers who are playing away at Miami, but he’ll also be coming up a tough defense – the same D/ST that I own in fantasy. However, his upside is a lot greater than Tony Romo’s, who scored just 12 fantasy points against the Redskins on Monday night. Once more, Rivers gets the nod.

Running Back (RB1, RB2): Chris Johnson (NYJ, @ KC), Mark Ingram (NO, @ CAR), Khiry Robinson (NO, @ CAR), Branden Oliver (SD, @ MIA)

Mark Ingram had a mega week in Week 8, and looks like he may have returned to his early season form following a hand injury that kept him sidelined for a month. With Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas likely out of Thursday night’s clash with Carolina, Ingram’s fantasy value only rises. He’s a must start, but the real decision on who to play in Week 9 at running back is between Chris Johnson and Branden Oliver. Oliver could be affected by a Ryan Mathews return and playing Miami’s defense. But he’s been playing well in a good offense, as opposed to Johnson who is playing in an offense that is looking for a spark; one he has been unable to provide. Oliver could have a bad fantasy week, but he certainly has more potential and a higher floor than Johnson, and so warrants the nod as my Week 9 RB2.

Wide Receiver (WR1, WR2): Demaryius Thomas (DEN, @ NE), Randall Cobb (GB, BYE), Percy Harvin (NYJ, @ KC), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, vs. PHI), Doug Baldwin (SEA, vs. OAK)

This week I’m faced with the frustration of not being able to start Randall Cobb. But hopefully DeAndre Hopkins, who has over 200 receiving yards in the past two weeks, will fill the void. The only problem is that he might not find the end zone, which he has done on only three occasions this season. I don’t have as much confidence in Percy Harvin or Doug Baldwin as I do in Hopkins, and Demaryius Thomas slots into his usual role of WR1 without thought.

Tight End (TE): Jimmy Graham (NO, @ CAR), Owen Daniels (BAL, @ PIT)

With Jimmy Graham almost at full health, he is the automatic starter. Owen Daniels gets even less of a look in because the procedure he received on his knee last week looks likely to knock him out of playing contention this week.

FLEX: Chris Johnson (NYJ, @ KC), Khiry Robinson (NO, @ CAR), Randall Cobb (GB, BYE), Percy Harvin (NYJ, @ KC), Doug Baldwin (SEA, vs. OAK), Owen Daniels (BAL, vs. PIT)

This decision was fairly straight forward. Robinson and Daniels will probably sit out of their respective teams’ Week 9 contests, and Randall Cobb is on a bye week. Percy Harvin’s fantasy value as a member of the Jets is still undefined, and he’ll be playing with Michael Vick – who turned the ball over on three occasions last week. Chris Johnson has been poor outside of the Jets’ Week 1 victory against the Oakland Raiders this season, which leaves just one candidate remaining – Doug Baldwin. With Harvin now in New York, Doug Baldwin is the highest receiver on the Seahawks’ depth chart, and figures to see a healthy number of targets against Oakland.

Defense/Special Teams (D/ST): Dolphins D/ST (MIA, vs. SD)

At the moment it appears as though I don’t need to carry another D/ST. To date Miami has the most points amongst D/STs, and had their bye week in Week 5. The only potential problem starting them this week is that they’ll be coming up against Philip Rivers, Brandon Oliver and the San Diego Chargers. Hopefully it works out that the Dolphins get a bunch of special teams points, allowing me to worry less if Rivers or Oliver happen to score big.

Kicker (K): Stephen Gostkowski (NE, vs. DEN), Cody Parkey (PHI, @ HOU)

Gostkowski is in form at the moment, and there’s no point in disturbing the flow when he’s doing so well. Cody Parkey is also enjoying a nice season, but he’s not at Gostkowski’s level just yet.

 

*Italics denote starters.

 

Other Week 9 matchups:

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (1-7) vs. Team apachefootball (6-2)

Barnyard Gems (4-4) vs. Team AZ Fixitmen (5-3)

Team Zachrich (3-5) vs. La Linea Lineman (1-7)

Kardac Kids srm (6-2) vs. Wigan Warriors (6-2)

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @RealTomWoods.

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Week 8 recap: It gets worse before it gets better

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The confidence I had in my fantasy team before Week 8 had all but evaporated by the end of Thursday night. Demaryius Thomas hadn’t kept up his 27 point average since the bye, Branden Oliver only recorded five points, and Philip Rivers was slightly underwhelming as the Chargers fell to the Broncos. To make matters worse Keenan Allen outscored both Oliver and Thomas; and I was completely unaware whilst watching the game that I was up against Emmanuel Sanders. Trust him to have a career night in which he had 120 yards and three touchdowns.

I genuinely thought it was game over at the first hurdle. If you don’t believe me, check my Friday morning tweet:

But sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.

Just as it looked as though I was heading in the direction of loss number six of this faltering fantasy football season, a huge performance for the Dolphins D/ST put me back on track, breaking the ongoing storyline in the process. It made a nice change to have a high-scoring D/ST for once, especially when mine outscored my opponent’s by 26 points – that was a huge help.

Then came Sunday Night Football – Green Bay versus New Orleans. Trailing by 26 points, I needed a big game from each of my three remaining players. Not only did that 26 point gap need bridging, but I also needed the Bloggers to have a big lead heading into Monday Night Football because Team AZ Fixitmen still had the number one fantasy running back DeMarco Murray left to play against the Redskins; a team susceptible to giving up big scores.

As luck would have it, I had three of the most productive players in the game – Packers wideout Jimmy Graham, New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham, and the Saints’ Mark Ingram – all of which combined for an amazing 52-point game, not only putting me into the lead, but doing so by taking me up to the total of 133 points, a season high for the Salford Bloggers.

With the Bloggers 26 points ahead of the Fixitmen, it set the stage for a Monday night showdown in which DeMarco Murray had the chance to be the difference maker. He started off strong, and the first half concluded with 11 points scored for the Cowboys running back, which could’ve been 13 if he hadn’t fumbled the ball in the second quarter. At that point I went to bed, hoping that Washington would do everything in their power to stop him getting 15 second half points or more.

They did just that. Murray finished with some strong statistics, and had over 200 total yards on the evening. But his inability to find the end zone in that game hurt Team AZ Fixitmen. Even one score would’ve drawn them level with the Bloggers.

It felt good to get back-to-back victories for the first time this season, and I’m hoping this trend and reverse in fortune continues. Bring on Week 9 and the Abergele JETS!

 

Result

Salford Bloggers – 133

Team AZ Fixitmen – 127

 

Team AZ Fixitmen

QB: Carson Palmer (329 passing yards, 2 TDs) – 21 points

RB: DeMarco Murray (141 rushing yards, 80 receiving yards, 1 fumble) – 20 points

RB: Darren McFadden (59 rushing yards, 26 rushing yards, 1 fumble) – 5 points

WR: Keenan Allen (73 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 13 points

WR: Emmanuel Sanders (120 receiving yards, 6 rushing yards, 3 TD) – 30 points

TE: Delanie Walker (37 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 9 points

FLEX: Le’Veon Bell (92 rushing yards, 56 receiving yards) – 14 points

D/ST: Cardinals D/ST (20 points allowed, 2 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack) – 0 points

K: Justin Tucker (3 field goals made, 1 extra point) – 15 points

BENCH

QB: Nick Foles (411 passing yards, 14 rushing yards, 2 TD, 2 INT) – 21 points

RB: Darren Sproles – 0 points

RB: Jonathan Stewart (79 rushing yards, 15 receiving yards) – 8 points

WR: Anquan Boldin (BYE) – N/A

WR: Golden Tate (151 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 21 points

WR: Roddy White (66 receiving yards) – 6 points

TE: Charles Clay (1 receiving yard) – 0 points

The start was so promising, but the main disappointment for Team AZ Fixitmen was the Cardinals D/ST, who didn’t score a single point. D/ST and perhaps Darren McFadden aside, the team played really well producing 127 points between them – a total that most weeks in The League would secure victory for a team.

 

Salford Bloggers

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QB: Philip Rivers (252 passing yards, 17 rushing yards, 3 TD, 2 INT) – 19 points

Scoring 19 fantasy points for most quarterbacks would be a good score , but it was a little under-par for Philip Rivers. The San Diego signal caller has been performing at an elite level this season, and I was hoping that he would score in excess of 20 points. While that didn’t actually happen what Rivers did do still put the Bloggers in a position to win, so I can’t be disappointed in his production.

RB: Mark Ingram (172 rushing yards, 3 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 23 points

There was some level of worry that Mark Ingram wouldn’t return to the form he displayed in the first two weeks of the season following his multi-week absence with a broken hand, but he bounced back on Sunday Night Football, exploding for 23 points. Ingram’s performance was pivotal in elevating the Salford Bloggers to win number three of the year, and helped put the game out of reach for DeMarco Murray and Team AZ Fixitmen.

RB: Branden Oliver (36 rushing yards, 27 receiving yards) – 5 points

Branden Oliver had a down week against the Broncos after posting good numbers in the weeks prior. He had 13 carries and seven receptions; but even though Oliver saw a lot of the ball, he was swarmed by Denver defensemen every time he touched it. With Ryan Mathews’ return impending, Branden Oliver’s name may soon fall off the map.

WR: Demaryius Thomas (105 receiving yards) – 10 points

Had I ended up losing this contest, I would have been very disappointed with Demaryius Thomas’ contribution. But in all fairness it wasn’t his fault. On Thursday night Emmanuel Sanders was Peyton Manning’s number one target, especially near the end zone, so Sanders ended up getting a bigger share of the points than Thomas.

WR: Randall Cobb (126 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 18 points

Randall Cobb has been on fire this season, scoring a touchdown in every game bar one. For the second straight week he also recorded over 120 yards receiving, and is firing on all cylinders at the moment. He’ll be a big miss in Week 8 when the

TE: Jimmy Graham (59 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 11 points

I don’t want to say that Jimmy Graham is ‘back’, but he did post a solid fantasy outing as he returned from a shoulder injury and played in the majority of New Orleans’ offensive snaps. Not only was it good for this week, but it is an encouraging sign going forward as he may become an important player down the stretch.

FLEX: Doug Baldwin (61 receiving yards) – 6 points

It wasn’t quite the 121 yard, one touchdown performance of Week 7, but I suppose every little helps. Six points is better than nothing at all – especially since it’s the margin I won by.

D/ST: Dolphins D/ST (13 points allowed, 2 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 2 TD, 4 sacks) – 26 points

Finally a D/ST pulled through for me! In a week in which the opposing defense and special teams scored no points whatsoever, Miami went berserk and recorded the Bloggers’ best defensive score to date. 26 points is no mean feat, and if it wasn’t for them I’d have fallen to 2-6 instead of going to 3-5. The performance of the Dolphins D/ST was much needed after Emmanuel Sanders’ 30-point haul on Thursday night, and may be a sign that my fantasy fortune is starting to change.

K: Stephen Gostkowski (3 field goals made, 6 extra points) – 15 points

One of my best moves in the draft was taking Gostkowski over Matt Prater in the thirteenth round. Once more he posted double digits and leads all kickers in fantasy scoring this season. Not bad at all.

BENCH

QB: Tony Romo (209 passing yards, 1 rushing yard, 1 TD) – 12 points

RB: Chris Johnson (7 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards) – 1 point

RB: Khiry Robinson – 0 points

WR: DeAndre Hopkins (95 receiving yards) – 9 points

WR: Percy Harvin (22 receiving yards, 28 rushing yards) – 4 points

TE: Owen Daniels – 0 points

K: Cody Parkey (2 field goals made, 2 extra points) – 10 points

The League: Week 8 results and standings

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Week 8 results

Salford Bloggers 133-127 Team AZ Fixitmen

La Linea Lineman 97-98 Team apachefootball

Kardac Kids srm 138-44 Dallas Cowboyz2014

Abergele JETS 126-71 Team Zachrich

Wigan Warriors 104-90 Barnyard Gems

 

Current standings

East Division

Kardac Kids srm – 6-2, 773 PF, 598 PA

Wigan Warriors – 6-2, 727 PF, 713 PA

Abergele JETS – 5-3, 761 PF, 819 PA

Salford Bloggers – 3-5, 731 PF, 819 PA

La Linea Lineman – 1-7, 610 PF, 683 PA

West Division

Team apachefootball – 6-2, 722 PF, 656 PA

Team AZ Fixitmen – 5-3, 754 PF, 713 PA

Barnyard Gems – 4-4, 753 PF, 777 PA

Team Zachrich – 3-5, 707 PF, 794 PA

Dallas Cowboyz2014 – 1-7, 628 PF, 803 PA

The transaction counter: Week 7

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> The Trancation Counter: Week 6

> The Trancation Counter: Week 5

> The Trancation Counter: Week 4

> The Trancation Counter: Week 3

> The Trancation Counter: Week 2

> The Trancation Counter: Week 1

> The Trancation Counter: Preseason

Here is a roundup of all the roster moves ahead of the NFL and fantasy football’s Week 8 games.

 

My transactions

Wed, Oct 22

Salford Bloggers (SAL) added Doug Baldwin (WR, SEA)

Salford Bloggers (SAL) dropped Chargers D/ST (D/ST, SD)

The Chargers D/ST have been awful for me the past couple of weeks, and I couldn’t wait to get them off my roster – especially as Doug Baldwin was a free agent in our league. With Percy Harvin’s uncertain role in the Jets’ offense at this point along with DeAndre Hopkins’ mediocre play, Baldwin heads straight into the Salford Bloggers’ starting lineup at the flex position.

 

Other transactions

Tue, Oct 21

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Montee Ball (RB, DEN)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Andre Williams (RB, NYG)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Josh Gordon (WR, CLE)

Talk about cleaning house. At 1-6, the La Linea Lineman decided to have a fire sale, letting go of Matt Ryan, Montee Ball, Andre Williams and Josh Gordon. The latter three all made perfect sense. Montee Ball is injured at the moment and has been for a couple of weeks now, but he is unlikely to win back his starting role from Ronnie Hillman when he returns. Hillman has established a role as an every-down back in Denver, and has three straight weeks of double-digit fantasy points, with over 100 yards in each of those outings has clouded Ball’s future.

Andre Williams, on the other hand, has stepped up into a starting role with the Giants in the absence of Rashad Jennings, but hasn’t gained over 60 yards on the ground or found the end zone as a starter.

Josh Gordon is another player who can’t play, but that’s down to suspension as opposed to injury. But it appears that La Linea Lineman, with six losses so far this season, are in win-now mode and can’t afford to take up a roster spot with someone who will only come into play as the season draws to a close.

Those three, I understood, but it was a shock to see Matt Ryan also hit waivers. Even though he hasn’t been playing as well the last three weeks as his owners would’ve hoped, Ryan still has the eighth most fantasy points amongst quarterbacks, and still heads an offense that has plenty of weapons. It underlines just how far he has fallen in fantasy estimation after leading the league in fantasy points scored in Week 1.

Wed, Oct 22

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added Doug Martin (RB, TB)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added Tre Mason (RB, STL)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added Ryan Tannehill (QB, MIA)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added Allen Robinson (WR, JAC)

After the mass exodus of players from La Linea Lineman on the Tuesday, it wasn’t in the least bit surprising to see that the team had been the busiest waiver-claiming team this week. The addition of Doug Martin to replace Montee Ball makes sense, as Martin will still have plenty of opportunity to run the ball in Tampa Bay’s offense – even if he hasn’t done that well in other games so far this season.

Whilst I wasn’t sure about the Matt Ryan move, seeing his replacement does make it more understandable. Ryan Tannehill has finally found some rhythm in the Miami offense, and his recent performances make for some healthy reading. If Ryan is on his way down, Tannehill is most certainly on his way up.

Then you have Tre Mason and Allen Robinson who both had been Week 7 performances coming off quiet starts to the season. But they are replacing players who currently offer very little and nothing at all, so it doesn’t amount to that much of a gamble.

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Storm Johnson (RB, JAC)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Denard Robinson (RB, JAC)

Storm Johnson was touted as a top pick up after Toby Gerhart went down with an injury, but it was actually Denard Robinson who broke out as the starter in Week 7 against the Browns, totalling 127 yards and a touchdown. The only reason Storm Johnson was fantasy-relevant in Jacksonville’s win is because he scored a garbage time touchdown in the fourth quarter to ice the game. Robinson is obviously the better of the two backs going forward in fantasy.

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Kirk Cousins (QB, WSH)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Robert Griffin III (QB, WSH)

Kirk Cousins was so uninspiring against the Titans in Week 7, he was benched for Colt McCoy at halftime. The performance was likely the main catalyst for a big decrease in Kirk Cousins ownership, in addition to the possible return of Robert Griffin III in the next two weeks. If Cousins is getting benched for a failed Browns first round pick, you know it’s time to part ways with him in fantasy; especially when the guy ahead of him in the depth chart is close to return.

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) dropped Donald Brown (RB, SD)

Kardac Kids srm (SRM) added Brandon LaFell (WR, NE)

Donald Brown has been out with an injury for the past three weeks now, and didn’t return in San Diego’s loss to the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Even when Brown eventually does return, he’ll probably be behind Branden Oliver even if Ryan Matthews remains out, as the rookie has been largely successful coming out of the backfield.

The story has been a little different for Brandon LaFell, however, who has scores of 21 and 17 coming in the last four weeks, and is the big-play option for Tom Brady. He has far more upside than Brown, so it isn’t difficult to see why this move was made.

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Vikings D/ST (D/ST, MIN)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Bears D/ST (D/ST, CHI)

This was a like-for-like switch. The Vikings D/ST has avoided minus points so far this season, but aside from two double digit weeks in Week 1 and Week 7 have been fairly low scoring. However, they have been more consistent than the Bears, even though the Bears have amassed more points so far this season. The Vikings also have a more favourable matchup this week on the road to Tampa Bay, than the Bears do away to New England.

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Dan Carpenter (K, BUF)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Phil Dawson (K, SF)

Wigan Warriors’ second like-for-like switch came because Phil Dawson, the San Francisco 49ers’ kicker, is on a bye week with his team, so Dan Carpenter will step in to fill the void.

Fri, Oct 24

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Cecil Shorts III (WR, JAC)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Dwayne Bowe (WR, KC)

Much was expected of Cecil Shorts when he returned from injury in Week 7 against Tennessee, but he did little to excite fantasy owners, scoring just nine points in the two weeks since. Meanwhile Dwayne Bowe, who has coasted through this season and could perhaps be classed as a WR4 in most leagues is expected to do well in Week 8 against a generous Rams defense which is currently allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Team apachefootball (zac) dropped Knowshon Moreno (RB, MIA)

Team apachefootball (zac) added Eagles D/ST (D/ST, PHI)

Knowshon Moreno is done for the season after tearing his ACL and landing on injured reserve. Replacing him with the number-one D/ST through seven weeks isn’t the worst consolation in the world – especially when you own a Bengals D/ST who have the twenty-ninth fewest points up to this point.

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Mohamed Sanu (WR, CIN)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Chiefs D/ST (D/ST, KC)

Mohamed Sanu’s brief time as a solid fantasy starter in 2014 may be  all but over. The wideout grabbed only three receptions for 54 yards against the Colts in the Bengals’ loss to Indianapolis last weekend, and an A.J. Green return could see his targets diminish.

But someone had to make way for the Chiefs D/ST who potentially have a good matchup against the Rams in Week 8, because Team Zachrich’s starting defense – the San Francisco 49ers – are on a bye week.

Sun, Oct 26

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Brandin Cooks (WR, NO)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Mohamed Sanu (WR, CIN)

Brandin Cooks was another player who got off to a fast start – literally – and had 14 points in his debut. But with Drew Brees’ struggles this season coupled with other reasons, Brandin Cooks has found himself being dumped in many fantasy leagues. Mohamed Sanu may have another week or so before the return of A.J. Green, so it’s probably one of the last chances fantasy players will have to milk his value. A smart switch to make ahead of Week 8’s Sunday games.

Salford Bloggers start or sit?: Week 8

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Week 8 matchup

Salford Bloggers (2-5) vs. Team AZ Fixitmen (5-2)

 

Projected lineup for Team AZ Fixitmen

QB: Carson Palmer (ARI, vs. PHI)

RB: DeMarco Murray (DAL, @ WSH)

RB: Darren McFadden (OAK, @ CLE)

WR: Keenan Allen (SD, @ DEN)

WR: Emmanuel Sanders (DEN, vs. SD)

TE: Delanie Walker (TEN, vs. HOU)

FLEX: Le’Veon Bell (PIT, vs. IND)

D/ST: Cardinals D/ST (ARI, vs. PHI)

K: Justin Tucker (BAL, @ CIN)

 

Salford Bloggers

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Quarterback (QB): Philip Rivers (SD, @ DEN), Tony Romo (DAL, @ WSH)

This was an extremely close call. Even though I have stuck with Philip Rivers, who is having an MVP-calibre season, since Week 2, Tony Romo’s performance last week coupled with his matchup this week gave me a selection headache. It went down to the wire, but I decided to stick with Rivers over Romo. Let’s hope this pays off.

Running Back (RB1, RB2): Chris Johnson (NYJ, vs. BUF), Mark Ingram (NO, vs. GB), Khiry Robinson (NO, vs. GB), Branden Oliver (SD, @ DEN)

This one was an easy decision. With Chris Johnson on a poor run of form, stuck behind Chris Ivory on the Jets’ depth chart, and Khiry Robinson behind the returning Mark Ingram for the Saints, it only made sense to start Ingram, as well as Brandon Oliver – who has cut himself out a role in the San Diego offense after Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown went down with injuries.

Wide Receiver (WR1, WR2): Demaryius Thomas (DEN, vs. SD), Randall Cobb (GB, @ NO), Percy Harvin (NYJ, vs. BUF), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU @ TEN), Doug Baldwin (SEA, @ CAR)

Over the past three weeks, Demaryius Thomas has averaged 27 points, and Randall Cobb has averaged over one touchdown so far this season. Because of their reliability and the fact that they’re fantasy football point machines mean that the pair get the nod at wide receiver for the Salford Bloggers.

Tight End (TE): Jimmy Graham (NO, vs. GB), Owen Daniels (BAL @ CIN)

Last week I made a game-time decision on whether to start Jimmy Graham or Owen Daniels. I selected Daniels in the end, and the move paid off as he scored 11 points to Graham’s zero. But Graham is expected to be fully active for this week’s game against Green Bay, and so with more field time, he’ll have more of a chance to score points. With a touchdown grab, Daniels could have a productive week, but Graham is a better player, so I’m going with him this week.

FLEX: Chris Johnson (NYJ, vs. BUF), Khiry Robinson (NO, vs. GB), Percy Harvin (NYJ, vs. BUF), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, @ TEN), Doug Baldwin (SEA @ CAR), Owen Daniels (BAL, @ CIN)

Choosing a flex player was difficult because I had a lot of talent to choose from. The players with the lowest ceilings appeared to be the running backs, due to the reasons above. Percy Harvin is currently an unknown commodity following his trade to the New York Jets. DeAndre Hopkins and Owen Daniels can both be high scorers on a good day, but neither are the leading receivers for their team. And then there’s Doug Baldwin. With Percy Harvin now gone, Baldwin sits atop of the depth chart in Seattle, and is currently the team’s leading receiver. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him go on a run after a Week 7 display in which he recorded over 100 yards and a touchdown. Because Baldwin is the safe pick here and has a high floor, I ended up choosing him as my flex player.

D/ST: Dolphins D/ST (MIA, @ JAC)

I dropped the Chargers D/ST the other day to clear room for Doug Baldwin. So with only one D/ST remaining, my decision has already been made.

K: Stephen Gostkowski (NE, vs. CHI), Cody Parkey (PHI, @ ARI)

There honestly isn’t a lot between these kickers heading into Week 8. They are both at the top end of the spectrum, so whoever I start is based mainly on a gut feeling, or some throwaway reasoning. This week I’m going Gostkowski, mainly due to the fact he has more points up to this point than any other kicker. Hopefully he scores as many points this week as his position would suggest.

 

*Italics denote starters.

 

Other Week 8 games:

La Linea Lineman (1-6) vs. Team apachefootball (5-2)

Kardac Kids srm (5-2) vs. Dallas Cowboyz2014 (1-6)

Abergele JETS (4-3) vs. Team Zachrich (3-4)

Wigan Warriors (5-2) vs. Barnyard Gems (4-3)

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @RealTomWoods.

Week 7 Recap: How the Salford Bloggers ended their dry spell

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Victory is so, so sweet – especially when you snatch it from the jaws of defeat.

That’s exactly what the Salford Bloggers did in Week 7 against the Barnyard Gems to record the team’s second victory of the season. But it didn’t look like my team was always headed to win number two.

With just a couple of minutes left in Sunday’s late afternoon kick-offs the Barnyard Gems led by roughly 20 points, maybe a little over. 20 points seemed like an achievable gap to bridge with Demaryius Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins left to play.

But it didn’t stay that way. A fortunate phase of play for the Barnyard Gems across the games saw the unenviable task become even more difficult.

It all started with Kansas City driving for the win. Level on points with San Diego, the Chiefs marched 62 yards down the field, paving the way for kicker Cairo Santos to score what ended up being the game-winning field goal, which reduced the Chargers D/ST’s points to two, from four. In an attempt to reply, the Chargers attempted to go straight back down the field, but Philip Rivers threw an interception to ice the game, and I waved goodbye to another couple of points.

Then, just a few seconds later over in Dallas, Dan Bailey kicked one between the sticks from over 40 yards out, and that completed the swing which took the Bloggers from being 20 points behind the Gems to 30.

At this point, the second win which looked perfectly achievable at one point, now seemed highly improbable. Unless Demaryius Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins could combine for 31 points or more, it was game over. Fortunately for me, however, the pair still had plenty left in the tank.

At Mile High Stadium on what was a historic night, Demaryius Thomas caught eight passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns – including the one which took quarterback Peyton Manning ahead of Brett Favre for most all-time touchdown passes. His production for the night was good enough for 29 points, leaving me within touching distance of the win.

Being a point behind, I now needed DeAndre Hopkins to score two or more for the win. As I went to bed on Monday night before the game, I was a little nervous. Given the Salford Bloggers’ track record this, failing to get those two points wasn’t out of the question. But this time my players came through for me, and I awoke to find out that DeAndre Hopkins gained 108 yards and fumbled the ball.

Finally! Win number two of the season; let’s make next week number three!

 

Result

Barnyard Gems – 93

Salford Bloggers – 100

 

Barnyard Gems

QB: Russell Wilson (313 passing yards, 106 rushing yards, 3 TD) – 36 points

RB: Matt Forte (49 rushing yards, 40 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 22 points

RB: Alfred Morris (54 rushing yards) – 5 points

WR: Cecil Shorts III (12 receiving yards) – 1 point

WR: Malcolm Floyd (50 receiving yards) – 5 points

TE: Jordan Reed (54 receiving yards) – 5 points

D/ST: Patriots D/ST (25 points allowed, 3 sacks) – 2 points

K: Dan Bailey (1 field goal made, 4 extra points) – 8 points

BENCH

QB: Kirk Cousins (139 passing yards, 1 INT, 1 fumble) – 1 point

RB: Ahmad Bradshaw (52 rushing yards, 36 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 18 points

RB: Joique Bell (48 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 11 points

RB: Frank Gore (20 rushing yards) – 2 points

WR: A.J. Green – 0 points

WR: Brandin Cooks (23 receiving yards) – 2 points

WR: Pierre Garcon (87 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 14 points

 

Salford Bloggers

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QB: Philip Rivers (205 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) – 14 points

Philip Rivers has started this season like a real MVP candidate, but his Week 7 performance wasn’t quite in line with the rest of his outings this season. It wasn’t a bad performance, even though it wasn’t enough to see the Chargers past the Chiefs; but it was a performance that yielded little in the way of fantasy production compared to what he has been getting.

RB: Mark Ingram (16 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards) – 2 points

With Mark Ingram returning to the New Orleans lineup this week following a month on the sideline with a broken thumb, I harboured high hopes for my running game this week. But it didn’t pan out as I had hoped, and two points is well below what I thought Ingram could get; and that was accounting for any rustiness as he has missed significant game time. Hopefully he’ll be up to speed next week, because I need all the help I can get at the moment.

RB: Branden Oliver (67 rushing yards, 11 receiving yards) – 7 points

Branden Oliver has the potential to be one of the surprises of the season as he continues to thrive in the Chargers’ offense. Although he didn’t get into the end zone on Sunday, he still posted solid numbers, and on another day his fantasy totals could have been a lot better.

WR: Demaryius Thomas (171 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 29 points

After being put in a 30 point hole, I really needed a big performance from one of my two remaining players, and boy did I get it! For the past three weeks, Demaryius Thomas has lit up fantasy football averaging a mega 27 points. He actually ended up with 29 points this week, which meant that I only needed two points from DeAndre Hopkins to win it. To add to the productive night he had, Thomas was also on the end of Peyton Manning’s record-breaking touchdown pass, capping off an excellent night for the wide receivier.

WR: Randall Cobb (121 receiving yards,  1 TD) – 18 points

One knock on Cobb’s game so far this season has been his low yardage totals, despite averaging over one touchdown per game. But the Green Bay wide receiver struck back at critics with a 121-yard performance, and still got that touchdown to continue the trend. A high-level of consistency has made Cobb one of the most reliable fantasy assets this season, and he lived up to expectations yet again in Week 7.

TE: Owen Daniels (58 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 11 points

Deciding whether or not to start Daniels came down to the wire, and was a conclusion I came to just minutes before the start of Sunday’s games. It was between starting the Baltimore Ravens tight end, or Jimmy Graham. But with Graham only playing limited snaps, I decided to leave Daniels in there – a move in the end that richly paid off. Unlike Graham, Daniels actually got on the board, and scored 11 points to boot.

FLEX: DeAndre Hopkins (108 receiving yards, 1 fumble) – 8 points

On a normal week, eight points would have been an extremely average score for a wideout; but as it turned out, I couldn’t have been happier with DeAndre Hopkins’ Week 7 totals. I went into Monday night needed two points for victory, and I would have been just as happy for him to get 20 receiving yards as I was for him to get 108. The eight points that he did get resulted in victory gor the Salford Bloggers, and helped the team crack triple digits for the first time since Week 4.

D/ST: Chargers D/ST (23 points against, 3 sacks) – 2 points

The Chargers D/ST have killed me the past couple of weeks. Last time out, they scored zero points against a poor Oakland offense while the opposition Lions got 20. This week the opposition only scored two points, but the Chargers once more failed to capitalise on that opportunity and got the same. It made things even worse that the Dolphins, who had amassed 12 points against the Bears earlier in the day, were sitting on my bench. This performance will probably seal the Chargers D/ST a one-way ticket to fantasy free agency.

K: Stephen Gostkowski (2 field goals made, 3 extra points) – 9 points

Whilst Stephen Gostkowski didn’t live up to his projection this week, I was fairly pleased with his production, because nine points for a kicker is still a solid total. Whether or not Cody Parkey was on a bye week was irrelevant, because I still would’ve started Gostkowski anyway.

BENCH

QB: Tony Romo (279 passing yards, 5 rushing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) – 21 points

RB: Chris Johnson (61 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards) – 7 points

RB: Khiry Robinson (26 rushing yards, 1 fumble) – 0 points

WR: Percy Harvin – 0 points

TE: Jimmy Graham – 0 points

D/ST: Dolphins D/ST (14 points allowed, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 sacks) – 12 points

K: Cody Parkey (BYE) – N/A

The League: Week 7 results and standings

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Week 7 Results

Barnyard Gems 93-100 Salford Bloggers

Team apachefootball 76-72 Abergele JETS

Dallas Cowboyz2014 61-76 Wigan Warriors

Team Zachrich 71-88 Kardac Kids srm

Team AZ Fixitmen 94-73 La Linea Lineman

 

Current Standings

East Division

Kardac Kids srm – 5-2, 635 PF, 554 PA

Wigan Warriors – 5-2, 623 PF, 623 PA

Abergele JETS – 4-3, 635 PF, 539 PA

Salford Bloggers – 2-5, 598 PF, 692 PA

La Linea Lineman – 1-6, 513 PF, 585 PA

 

West Division

Team AZ Fixitmen – 5-2, 627 PF, 580 PA

Team apachefootball – 5-2, 624 PF, 559 PA

Barnyard Gems – 4-3, 662 PF, 673 PA

Team Zachrich – 3-4, 636 PF, 668 PA

Dallas Cowboyz2014 – 1-6, 584 PF, 665 PA