Archive for the ‘Alfred Morris’ Category

The playoffs are in full swing and every start-sit decision is crucial. This week, we give permanent green-light status to a rookie QB, consider benching one of Buffalo’s unappreciated running backs, and throw up the red light for one star running back.

 Green Light: Russell Wilson

It has been a pleasure to watch Russell Wilson develop this season. With 15+ fantasy points in each of the last 5 weeks vs CHI, MIA, MIN, NYJ and DET, he’s proven that owners don’t need to flex him out against good defenses anymore. Critics cautioned he would struggle in the pros because he wasn’t tall enough to see over the offensive line. Yet somehow, Wilson has gone through the season with just eight interceptions, while getting just 1.4% of his passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage (the league average is 1.9%).

Taking on an Arizona Cardinals defense that has allowed the third fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season appears to be a daunting task. Not for Wilson. In seven road starts, he has eight TDs and eight INTs. Yes, that means he has zero interceptions at home and 11 touchdowns to boot. With Sunday’s game coming at home in Seattle, I’m giving Wilson the full green light. Read the rest of this entry »

In this, our last trading post of the year, I’d like to start by congratulating all those who tried to carry out any of the suggestions laid out here. Owners that only build through the draft and the waiver wire are severely limiting the potential of their team.

We had some good times in the trading post – escaping the sinking ship named Darren McFadden and jumping on board the Doug Martin train a little earlier than most. However, those were countered by some very remorseful Sundays. Trading for Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning are two pieces of advice that continue to haunt me and my teams to this day.

Enough about the blunders of the past – with trade deadlines sounding all over the continent, it’s time to get down to business…

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We’ve watched half a season of football, and so far we’ve learned that we were justified in our concern about Cam Newton’s fight against history, and we were probably searching for reasons to worry when we wondered if Victor Cruz’s home run hitting would be a problem. Meanwhile, the battle between DeMarco Murray and trust is one that will forever be etched in mythical folklore.

None of that is especially surprising. Instead, a group of players have supplied the surprise. Many of them are rookies, and many were either available on the waiver wire earlier in the year, or at a heavily discounted draft price. So join me for a listicle, and let’s recount the top five surprises of the season’s first eight games.

Say, how depressing is it that the season’s already halfway over, and the fantasy season is approaching stretch drive time? Happy thoughts in, evil out.

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In February of 2011, Barcelona’s midfield maestro and self professed “football romantic” Xavi spoke in a sit-down with The Guardian about the keys to winning soccer games. With a dab of eloquence and expletive, he remarked that it’s vital to react rapidly and find vacant grass when in possession. He elaborated, saying “it’s like being on the PlayStation. I think shit, the defender’s here, play it there…” Wait, what? PlayStation? It’s almost ludicrous to compare reality and virtual reality, but when you think about it, it makes a bit of sense.

Whether it’s football or futbol, the goal of the offense is to find spaces to run or throw into. Plays are designed to clear out one area of the field to allow a pass catcher to come run without disruption and receive the ball, or for a runner to run through.  Take for example the case of Washington Redskins rookie phenomenon Robert Griffin III, known by the popular moniker “RG3″. He’s endlessly found space when running the recently indoctrinated zone-read concept, regardless of whether he’s faking the hand-off to execute an exotic play action, or cutting blades of grass past would-be tacklers on a carry.

In it’s simplest form, the zone-read requires the quarterback to read an uncovered back-side defender of the formation at the “mesh” point and then determine if he will hand the ball off or tuck it away and run.

The defender, an end or outside linebacker (in some cases, a tackle) depending on the defense’s  front of choice, is unblocked and will have to make a decision as to who he will go after: the quarterback or the running back. What’s the correct choice? Neither, because it doesn’t matter, and they’re both wrong. One player can’t defend two offensive players, and as a result, the defense has to compensate by bringing over another defender, thus leaving less in coverage.

But what if you don’t have enough defenders?

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I’d like you to close your eyes, and drift back to a time when hope still lived. It was, oh, about two months ago.

August of the year 2012 was a wondrous time, and solely because scientists finally perfected the bionic eye. But we’ll remember it for so much more, for it is the month of the Morris. Alfred Morris.

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There’s gold in them there waiver wires. Some of it will help your fake football team win a fake championship and maybe even give you a fake trophy to put beside your real divorce papers. Other gold is of the foolish variety, and is reserved for that guy in your league who picks up and hoards every player who busts out, even though he didn’t know said players’ name a week ago. Every league has that guy, along with trade veto guy, inappropriate smack talk guy, and entire draft clock taker guy.

After their surprise Week 1 performances, Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree and Redskins running back Alfred Morris were two of the hottest adds throughout the fantasy land. In ESPN leagues over the past seven days, Ogletree’s ownership has risen 67.5 percent, while Morris’ has gone up 64.7.

So with many of you taking that plunge and buying low on Morris and/or Ogletree, who will give a better return on that early-season investment? I was asking that question too, and I decided it was a good idea to stop talking to myself, and maybe ask someone else. That someone was Chet Gresham, a regular contributor to Rotoworld, and the founder of The Fake Football.

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If there is one thing Mike Shanahan can hang his hat on it’s turning unheralded Running Back’s into stars – albeit briefly. Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Mike Bell, Reuben Droughns, Tatum Bell – the list goes on. We won’t get into Shanny’s Quarterback troubles, you’re welcome Redskins faithful.

Shanahan’s latest find is Alfred Morris, who will start at Running Back today when the Redskins travel to New Orleans. Morris was Washington’s 6th round pick in this year’s draft out of Florida Atlantic. In a preseason that saw injuries to Roy Helu, Tim Hightower and Evan Royster, Morris made the most out of his opportunity.

RG3′s first road start in the NFL won’t be easy – cliche alert – especially playing in front a hostile, and possibly bloodthirsty Superdome crowd. Morris will be key in taking pressure off of the DC messiah. While the Redskins pass protection was absolutely horrendous last year they excelled in the run game. Helu – another Shanahan ‘find’ – rushed for three consecutive 100 yard games last season and Royster had back to hack 110 yard plus performances.

I would refrain from slotting Morris into your starting lineup right away, but keep tabs on the Pensacola native’s performance today. He could be a flex option going forward.