As I was watching this game on NFL Rewind, like I do with a fair amount of games each week, it dawned on me just how many young Fantasy Football prospects were involved. We all know that numbers can be deceiving, and if you are putting a lot of stock in simply boxscores you will get burnt. What I plan to do from here on out, depending on the results, is to write multiple posts a week detailing my observations and the implications to Fantasy Football. Hell, I’ll even throw some non-fantasy nuggets in there as well. The learned a lot of helpful info from this game and hope it translates into more efficiency, wins. During this first ever “Prospect Watch” I noticed some obvious, interesting, and unfortunate developments that I previously did not know. Thus, without further ado….
Josh Gordon looks worth the 2nd round pick the Browns used to draft him in the supplemental draft and whatever you paid to get him on your fantasy team. He was really close to scoring 3 TDs on Sunday. In addition to the one he scored, he was pushed out at the two on a similar play to his score and dropped a critical deep ball for the lead late (which most have seen). Brandon Weeden has surpassed my expectations and that’s primarily because he is showing toughness. He is willing to stand and deliver in the pocket. That’s why the last Gordon drop was painful, because Weeden took a shot as he released the bomb. He has MLB arm talent and with what else he has shown, I believe Gordon will remain a hot commodity, moreover it matches strength and strength for the two players. He isn’t getting many targets underneath, but he will continue to see Shots, Shots, Shots….
- Translation: If you picked him up, don’t hesitate to use or keep using him. If you don’t have him and need a WR you should make a play for him, feel out the other owner who could have more than enough options (you may end up with someone else they’ve soured on) which can only lead to good things.
I hate to speculate about injuries, but lots of people are talking about Trent Richardson, so I’m chiming in with what I observed. It looked like he took a rough shot on the first drive of the game and ran a lot safer after that. First known for his elusiveness, Richardson has developed a violent running style that simply wasn’t present on Sunday. Also, it’s hard to trust what he says as last week he said he was fine and then Sunday he said it was worse than others think…huh?
- Translation: It’s tough to trust him this weekend, no matter what he says. As an owner unless you’re truly desperate you might want them to sit him down until he is 100%. BELOW in the notes is what to expect in terms of the workload IF TRich is to miss any time.
For anyone thinking of plugging Vick Ballard in their lineup this week, you may want to think again. Before the fourth quarter, when the Colts were in full clock-killing mode (arguably they were for most of the second half), it was a tight timeshare between Ballard and Delone Carter. In fact, Delone Carter looked pretty damn good…perhaps he was the better runner. Ballard was over 100 yards last week, but that had a lot to do with the lead Indy had and his fourth quarter production (lots of carries and a big run) which might not be the case this week. While I don’t expect the Titans to blow them out, they haven’t won a game on the road the last two seasons and CJ2K should run all day.
- Translation: BEWARE of BALLARD. Try to go elsewhere for your “flex” needs. Feel good if you have Brown or pick him up if he was hastily dropped.
At a time when a lot of other tight ends are trending downwards, see: Pitta, Dennis, I was surprised to see an old name show some game. Mr. Ben Watson (not Randy); had a TD called back, made a big play, and a couple other catches. If you scrapping for someone or something other than Gordon, he looked viable. You could probably do worse in deeper formats.
When TRich went down, Hardesty showed the nice burst that many hoped he would bring to the Browns when he left his Tennessee (split with Arian Foster his Jr. year and looked good). Unfortunately, it’s worth noting Ogbonnaya was the 3rd down back so he wouldn’t necessarily be a workhorse without Richardson.
Haden didn’t shadow Reggie, so the Colts were happy to move him back home to the left & slot and work him. Avery would’ve drew two PIs from Haden had Luck not thrown the second out of bounds. Hilton had a bad drop and an alignment penalty. Luck is gonna look for Avery downfield and they’ve just missed on a big play the last couple weeks. He is a solid upside play this week vs Tenn. Hilton has cut into his targets and even Brazil got a deep ball. But vs. Tenn they should be able to get whatever they want. Hopefully they wanna go deep.
For the deeeeeep leaguers, this Cooper character got open. And Benjamin was more involved late, as they passed more in an effort to comeback.