Dynasty Experts Q and A: 2016 Week 15

Each and every week we will ask our dynasty experts several questions regarding fantasy football. Our expert panel will answer anything you throw at them. We’ll look at buy-low and sell-high players along with trade questions we receive during the week from our followers as well as other general dilemmas and draft questions. Here we go:
1.) This is question is shamelessly personal. Home league PPR 6-points per passing TD, -2 per turnover. Do I start Marcus Mariota is “the ring of fire” that is Arrowhead Stadium (at KC) or Philip Rivers vs the steaming mad Oakland Raiders (in SD)?

Burgandy –  Hmmm, with 6 points per passing TD, it really negates Mariota’s ability to run one in. There is no advantage there.  I like Rivers here. KC is rolling and the defense is scary at home. The Oakland game could easily be a shoot out. I like Oakland to win, but I like Rivers for 300/3/1 in this whereas Mariota feels like 220/2/2 with another 40 on the ground. 

Luke Grilli -I don’t trust Philip Rivers any time after Week 10. I have been burned waaaay too many times. I would prefer to roll with Mariota here and hope that he can connect with Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker on a TD or 2 against a suspect KC secondary, while picking up some chunk yardage on the ground.

Brian Hawkes – This is a tough decision. Both defenses are performing extremely close versus opposing QBs; allowing averages of: 274 yards, 1.62 TDs and 0.92 INTs (Raiders) and 264 yards,  1.62 TDs, and 1.08 INTs (Chiefs) per game. That being said, recency suggests playing the Chiefs at Arrowhead is not a QB friendly environment…just ask Derek Carr (117 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs). I’m going with Rivers at home here. We do have a nice reference point as he played them in Oakland in week 5. The result? 359 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs. 

Josh Johnson – After much soul searching and some failed attempts to email Mariota’s extended family, I have decided to go with Rivers. The Oakland D has holes and Rivers can find them. The Titans will need their running game to control the clock at KC. Mariota has also had turnover issues when playing from behind.

Shaun Laibe – I have to go with Philip Rivers here.  This is more about Mariota’s matchup in Arrowhead with the Chiefs than anything else.  Kansas City has always had one of the best home field advantages in the NFL and this season is no exception.  The Chiefs are dominating teams on their home field, holding MVP candidate Derek Carr to just 117 yards in Week 14.  It’s a matter of who I trust more, and this week the answer is Philip Rivers.

2.) WR3-5 decision sit one of these fringe WRs, Jamison Crowder vs CAR, Cole Beasley vs TB, Ty Montgomery @ CHI or Adam Thielen vs IND?

Burgandy – I’m sitting Beasley based on two things. One, they owe Dez…big time after Sunday night.  Two, TB’s defense is getting better by the minute. 

Luke Grilli -Um Jamison Crowder would like a word with you. He is a fringe WR? That is news to me. On pace for 74/1000/10, those are low end WR2 numbers. Anyways, I digress. Standard or PPR, I’d probably sit Beasley here. Burgandy has two great points…and I’d  have to agree. Tampa’s defense has been absolutely lights out these past few weeks and I expect them to keep on rolling against Big D.

Brian Hawkes – Looking at these matchups, the Panthers allow the most points to wide receivers and Crowder is the best of this group – Crowder is in. Thielen has the toughest matchup, but he’s averaging 8 targets per game over the past month – Thielen is in. Montgomery has the added value of carries, it’s been rumored he will see more action with Starks out. Add in a cold weather game, and a hobbled QB…I’d expect him to get more carries than he’s seen in recent games – Montgomery is in. Beasley is out.

Josh Johnson – I am sitting Beasley. The Bucs CBs (Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves & Alterraun Verner) are physical/forceful players. Beasley will struggle much like he did vs the Vikings (2-23). The shifty Crowder should eat up the inexperienced Panthers DBs. Montgomery is basically an RB now and rumor has it he could see 20 plus touches with James Starks under concussion protocol. Theilen is consistent and he will be facing one of the NFL worst defensive units.

Shaun Laibe I would sit Ty Montgomery in this situation.  The emergence of Davante Adams has diminished Montgomery’s role in the passing offense.  Similarly, Christine Michael has eaten into his rushing statistics, getting 10 carries to Montgomery’s 9 in Week 14.   I would pass on this questionable situation during the fantasy playoffs.

3.) Which formerly-injured RB do you have the most confidence in over these next two weeks? Theo Riddick, Charles Sims or Ryan Mathews?

Burgandy – Theo has been consistent all year.  If healthy he still has the greatest touch potential.  It all comes down to touches. 

Luke Grilli -Again…agreeing with Burgandy here. When I think of turds, I think of Ryan Mathews. With Charles Sims, he doesn’t have upside outside of PPR leagues, while Riddick has shown that he is the most complete RB on the Lions roster, despite being the smallest.

Brian Hawkes – If you’re playing these guys the next two weeks, I’m assuming we are talking about the fantasy playoffs. In my eyes, this makes it critically important that we first look at this week before looking ahead to the following week. Riddick is doubtful for Sunday, and zeros don’t benefit anyone..so he’s out. Matthews is expected to play this week, and Sproles is expected to be out. He’s coming off of a 15 carry game, so we can assume he’s in for a nice workload…against the top ranked Baltimore run defense. Then we have Charles Sims. He faces a Cowboys defense that has been stingy against pass catching backs, but allowing a healthy 4.17 yards per carry. If Tampa can keep it close, Sims could get more than his standard 7-10 touch workload. I’m going with Sims. If he works for this week – he gets the Saints next week.

Josh Johnson – Probably Riddick. He has the most upside and the lack of true competition on the depth chart in Detroit makes me want to trust him more. Sims is likely just a pass catcher for the rest of the season. While Mathews is attempting to run behind a mediocre line full of rookies and guys playing out of position. I will also second Luke’s “Mathews is a turd” statement.

Shaun LaibeRiddick has yet to practice this week, which leads me to believe he won’t be suiting up on Sunday.  Charles Sims got back into the swing of things last week with 4 receptions, but I don’t quite trust his week to week production.  That leaves us with Ryan Mathews.  I’m not in love with Mathews, but the argument for him is rather convincing when you consider his competition in Philadelphia.  Wendell Smallwood has been placed on the IR and will miss the remainder of the season, while Darren Sproles has been ruled out for Week 15 as well with an injury of his own.  By default, Ryan Mathews is my choice. 

4.)Who will be the Top 5 Fantasy QBs this week (Geek out on stats if you must but it is totally not necessary)?

Burgandy –  1. Matty Ice  2. A-Aron 3. Big Ben  4. Derek Carr  5. Russell Wilson

Luke Grilli – 1. Kirk Cousins 2. Colin Kaepernick (Whaaaaaaaat?!?) 3. Cam Newton (Whaaaaaaaaaat?!?) 4. Matt Ryan (He’d be higher if I knew Julio is good to go) 5. Drew Brees (Big bounce back game against a tough Pass D)

Brian Hawkes – I think weather plays a part this weekend: 1. Cousins 2. Kaepernick 3. Rivers 4. Carr 5. Ryan

Josh Johnson – 1. Kirk Cousins 28-40 403 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
2. Russell Wilson 19-26 229 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
3. Aaron Rodgers 24-33 260 yards, 3 TDs, 1 turnover
4. Carson Palmer 30-42 307 yards, 3 TDs, 3 turnovers
5. Matt Ryan 20-24 289 yards, 2 TDs, 1 turnover

Shaun Laibe1.      Aaron Rodgers – R-E-L-A-X if A-rod is your starting QB this week.   2.     Matt Ryan – Playing at home against San Francisco.  No further argument necessary.   3.     Tom Brady – Brady will be playing angry in Denver.  4. Ben Roethlisberger – Rivalry game in Cincinnati will bring out the best in Big Ben.  5. Drew Brees – After two consecutive disappointing weeks, Brees will bounce back in Arizona.

5.) Who let you down the most in round one of your playoffs?

Burgandy –  Freeman, Mariota, and Dez. 

Luke Grilli -Larry Fitz, Thomas Rawls, Cam Newton (but this has been a yearly thing), Jameis Winston & Mike Evans duo

Brian Hawkes – Russell Wilson. His game at Green Bay was gross. I was fortunate to win despite his terrible performance, but his road woes have me reconsidering starting him in future road games. Which brings up an interesting trend of home v. road splits for a number of QBs: Wilson, Roethlisberger, Brees….I’m probably going to look into this in the offseason to help make future lineup decisions.

Josh Johnson – Devonta Freeman but I won! I gamble big time with Travis Benjamin in a couple of league vs the soft Panthers secondary. He crapped the bed and I stunk up the very integrity of strategy it self. Oh and by the way Eli Manning I really expected more from you but we have through this before haven’t we! Theo Riddick being inactive was a kick in the junk. Way to let your team and me down with a division title in your potential grasp.

Shaun Laibe – Allen Robinson… You are dead to me!

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