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Coffin Corner: Hold On To Your Shorts

Ray Flowers

Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: M-F at 5-8 PM EDT), Ray Flowers has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. You can follow Ray on Twitter (@BaseballGuys), he never sleeps, and you can also find more of his musings at BaseballGuys.com.

Coffin Corner: Wk.2

A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE

I’m going to describe to you a way you can play fantasy football – against me. Thanks to Fanduel.com you will be able to take me on each week in fantasy football in a salary cap game. Chose your team and take me down. Simple as that. Should be a lot of fun and you can also win cash along the way, so why wouldn't you be interested? Here's the link to play: Take on The Oracle.

WEEK 2 – LOSERS

Coby Fleener received one target which he caught for seven yards in Week 1. How exciting. While it's obviously far too early to be calling Fleener a bust, the youngster has played 13 games with the Colts and has caught 27 balls for 288 yards and two touchdowns. Raise your hand if that excites you (and don't be that guy, put your arm down). Meanwhile, Dwayne Allen caught a score in Week 1 and he's up to 46 receptions for 541 yards and four touchdowns in his career. At this point Fleener is only roster-worthy as a support player at tight end, which means in 10-to-12 team leagues he's probably best left on waivers – he doesn't even look like the #1 tight end on his own team.

Chris Ivory has averaged 5.0 yards per carry in his career. We're only talking 266 carries, and many of those yards were late in games when defenses were worn down, but the guy has a ferocious running style, is tough to bring down, and is on an offense that really isn't very good which should allow him plenty of work (#1 WR Santonio Holmes still isn't 100 percent cause of his foot, #2WR Jeremy Kerley is dealing with a concussion, and their QB is a rookie). That said, Ivory wasn't 100 percent healthy in the preseason so Bilal Powell earned himself a significant role in the offense. Don't bet on that lasting. Ivory is a superior talent, an is better suited for goal line work. Even though Ivory had 10 carries for 15 yards in Week 1, he shouldn't be on waivers.

Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball 15 times for 45 yards in Week 1 and he didn't catch a single pass. Hardly an auspicious start. Drew is someone to have some concern with, if you haven't had them all along like I have. He's in a sputtering offense. He's old. He only appeared in six games last season cause of his foot injury. The last time he caught 50 passes was 2009. He's only scored 14 rushing scores in his last 37 games. It's not panic time but I just can't see how he ends up being a RB1 this season as some think is possible.

Lamar Miller played 36 snaps in Week 1 against the Browns while Daniel Thomas played 32. Seriously, look it up. All summer the Dolphins said that Thomas was going to have a significant role in the offense. All summer long most analysts, including yours truly, thought that was merely hogwash, or better yet subterfuge, being laid out there by the coaching staff. Maybe, for once, a team was telling the truth. Miller carried the ball 10 times for three yards while Thomas totted the rock eight times for 14 yards. Both stunk, or more aptly, they line sucked as they just didn't open up any holes. Still, there is no denying that Miller is the more talented back and usually talent wins out. Hold Miller if you own him and try to get him on the cheap if you don't. Brighter days are ahead.

Kyle Rudolph was at it again, and by “it” I mean he was stinking up the joint, continuing a terrifying trend from last season. In 16 games last year Rudolph had nine strong games and seven crapola efforts. He was either a big plus or a horrific letdown each week (he was never really average). In Week 1 this season against DET he was blah city with two catches for 27 yards. The Vikings aren't likely to have a great passing offense with Christian Ponder under center, so they're going to have to target Rudolph more than four times a week on those underneath routes to have success. It was a down week, but that doesn't mean Week 2 will be the same way as Rudolph still has the look of a red zone target.

Cecil Shorts is playing without Justin Blackmon. That hurts. Marcedes Lewis didn't play in Week 1. That hurts. Finally, Shorts played nearly all of Week 1 with Blaine Gabbert throwing him passes. That hurts. Things will obviously improve as the Jaguars gets healthy, but the best news might be that Chad Henne has already been named the starter for Week 2 and it's possible he could end up maintaining the starting job even when Blaine's hand is better. Hold on to Shorts.

C.J. Spiller was supposed to get the ball until he puked according to his new OC. Not only did that not happen, but the fact of the matter is that he received only five more touches than Fred Jackson (22 to 17). That's kinda scary if you're a Spiller owner, I get it. But you shouldn't be panicking (someone Monday called my SiriusXM show and wanted to deal Spiller straight up for Reggie Bush). Some positives. (1) Spiller is too dynamic a football not to explode. Even last season when he ran for 1,241 had had games on the ground of 16, 33, 24, 39 and 37. Down games happen. (2) Spiller still had 22 touches in Week 1. If he plays 16 games at that rate then we're talking about more than 350 touches this season (don't overlook that he caught five passes in Week 1). Spiller is gonna be fine. Hold if you own and buy low if you can.

Zach Sudfeld is an undrafted free agent. If he was on any team other than the Patriots I don't know if anyone would even know his name. Ranked inside the top-10 at the tight end position by many in the fantasy game, Sudfeld was as big a disappointment as anyone at his position in the first week of action. Not only did he fail to assert himself but he flat out disappeared with one measly target that almost resulted in an interception when he lost his footing. Now folks are panicking and telling everyone that Sudfeld stinks so drop him (it always amazing me how quickly jump on or off the ole' bandwagon). It's too early to give up on Sudfeld, but the lack of usage and minor hamstring issue in Week 1 are no doubt concerning. Hopefully Sudfeld is your backup TE and you can afford to wait and see how things turn out.

Kenbrell Thompkins had an ugly afternoon. He only converted four of 14 targets as he dropped balls in his hands, had trouble staying upright, read the defenses wrong creating bad breaks, and generally looked about as over-matched as he possibly could have. Think there was a reason he was an undrafted free agent? I've got nothing to apologize for as I warned everyone to slow down the party bus as the hype was as out of control as it could get with this wideout.

Mike Wallace had one catch for 15 yards while Brian Hartline goes for 100+ and a touchdown (more on this situation can be found below). Predictably Wallace complained after the game. Wanna bet Week 2 is a much better affair for Mr. Wallace? He's never been a great fit for the scheme the Dolphins are using, but they will have to find a way to better utilize his talents moving forward.

David Wilson had two fumbles and more protection issues. HC Tom Coughlin is playing the game of tough love. We'll see if it works, but I gotta tell ya I'm not at all a fan of how they have handled Wilson. Seems like they've pretty much done everything they can to crush the guy's confidence. Wilson may not have a huge role in Week 2, but he's still easily the best talent they have in the backfield so he should find his way to tons of touches moving forward. Buy low here.

TARGETS

17 Targets – Anquan Boldin

Beast mode. Just about the only way to say it. This guy won leagues with 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown. He doesn't stretch the field, but there may not be a tougher man in traffic than Boldin who seemingly catches every 50/50 ball that is thrown his way with his massively strong hands. This effort won't be repeated, but in the Niners offense he's at least a WR3 option pretty much every week in the fantasy game.

15 Targets – Brian Hartline

Mike Wallace didn't show up (one reception on five targets for 15 yards) but the sure-handed Hartline did with nine receptions for 114 yards and a TD. Be careful though. That was only his 7th career touchdown. This is his fifth NFL season.

14 Targets – Kenbrell Thompkins, Danny Amendola, Larry Fitzgerald

Thompkins was a mess as I wrote above. Amendola had a great state line (10-104) and he made a couple of great grabs in traffic. He also had to be taken out of the game in the first half with a tweak of his troublesome groin injury reminding everyone yet again that he simply cannot be counted on to play 16 games (in fact, it sounds like he is unlikely to play in Week 2, and there is a report that he might even miss more than one game). Fitzgerald scored twice stamping his return to wide receiver one-dom.

13 Targets – Vincent Jackson, A.J. Green, Jordan Cameron

Beast mode Part II as VJax terrorized the Jets for seven receptions and 154 yards in Week 1. He's a physical monster few can match up against. Green caught nine balls for 162 yards and two scores against the vaunted Bears' defense reminding folks why he might just end up being the best WR in fantasy football this season. Cameron was what many of us hoped he would be – a TE1. Cameron caught nine balls for 108 yards and a score and with Josh Gordon serving another week of suspension Cameron has a shot to establish himself as a potentially elite TE option.

12 Targets – Miles Austin, Randall Cobb, Emmanuel Sanders, Dallas Clark

Austin looked pretty healthy on his way to 10 catches and 72 yards. Cobb was dynamic against the Niners with seven receptions for 108 yards and a beautiful score in which he arched his body and spun backwards to get the ball to the goaline. Sanders may not see this many targets again, but he's certainly going to have a role each week with the Steelers. As for Clark, boy was the stat line deceiving as he dropped a sure score, lost a fumble that a penalty overturned, and generally looked to be playing a bit slower than the rest of the players on the field.

Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.

http://baseballguys.com/2013/08/30/take-on-the-oracle-in-fantasy-football/