Thursday, November 6, 2008

Broncos vs Browns Breakdown

So here's my takes on the fantasy players for tonight's game. I will be trying to do this every Wednesday night/Thursday morning to give you my latest and greatest takes on the Thursday night games.

My philosophy for Thursday games - start guys who are your studs or are very consistent. We have the least amount of info by Thursday and it's hard to know who is or isn't ready to go sometimes. So if you are on the fence witha flex guy, usually I like to go with a Sunday player rather than a Thursday.

This post is for Denver - Cleveland will be along a little later....

Denver -
Pass Game - Cleveland is actually a slightly better than average pass defense, ranked 13th vs the pass and while they have given up 9 TDs to offenses but also have 9 picks - 7th in the league. However, they are struggling to get pressure on the QB - only 13 sacks so far. Also, the last three games they have coughed up almost 700 yards and Joe Flacco beat them up for 236 and a pair of TDs. I think this is a pretty good matchup - the Broncs oline is struggling a bit but they will probably win this war this week.

Jay Cutler - He's had some real issues holding onto the ball or getting it to the receivers not the opposition. Still this is a pretty good mathcup for him. He's a start against a secondary that is opportunistic but should give him enough time to find his receivers. He may have a pick but should more than offset that with @250 yards and a Td or two.

Brandon Marshall - Marshall was shut down and locked up last weekend and killed his owners with 2(!) catches for 27 (!) yards. But he got a long TD called back on a ticky tacky pass interference call and while that's not a ton of catches the stats would have been much better. He's getting an average of 10+ targets most games and while expectations were over-inflated, he is still a solid WR. He hasn't seen the end zone since week 4 - this week I think that could change. He's not going to be the #1 Wr this week in my opinion, but I think despite the bad game last week he will be back to his usual 7-10 points (add 6 or 7 in PPR) with the possibility of a TD this week.

Eddie Royal - Royal is still having a heck of a season even when he seems to be quiet. He's only had a pair of bad games really, and he usually gets @ 9 targets. He's a good flex or #3 pr 4 play depending upon your bench. This week I think you can use him BUT don't plug him in above his flex or # spot.

Other guys - Brandon Stokely is a a guy who can put up good numbers but ayou aren't sure when, so unless you are strapped at WR, I would look elsewhere..... might be back, we'll hear more today but I have to hesitate to use him unless you (like me in one league) are ina tight corner...... Darrell Jackson.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... no seriously, don't start him..... (edited to add) Tony Scheffler - if he is in, I might be tempted to play him, but I always hesitate to start a guy post-injury (unless his name is Anquan). Scheffler is a guy I want to wait a week on, even though I could miss a big game here.

Rush Game -
The Cleveland rush D is just this side of brutal, ranked 28th in the league and coughing up 148 yards on the ground with a nice 9 TDs so far against opposing ball carriers. Salivating yet? Well, not so fast. Andre Hall and Michael Pittman are now on the IR, we've got a banged up Selvin Young and a rookie Ryan Torain. Also there have been some injuries to the Oline. A great matchup that may have a lot less fantasy value than it should.

Selvin Young - I think Young may not play. He's banged up and as of now, I haven't heard he is practicing fully yet. As he is questionable, this is real simple - don't start him, even if he is playing. I don't want a Willis McGahee/Steven Jackson type point total (0 or 2) to start the week off. Avoid the Noid.

Ryan Torain - Torain didn't look all that great BUT he did only get three carries. Here is a guy who needs to learn pass protection, the speed of the game, all his plays and all that is entailed in being a starting Rb in the NFL. Now, plenty of rookies (Forte, Johnson, Slaton) have performed. And Torain will probably get a ton of carries. He's risky, but he's healthy and worth a start. Now, the most I would start him as is as a flex. Don't overvalue - and if you have a good matchup elsewhere I might be tempted to go that route. But we just have no idea if he will play well - but the matchup and situation make him a start with upside.

Peyton Hillis - Bear with me here - I would NOT START HIM this week. Too much a chance he disappears again into the ether. BUT - and this is vital - you may want him on your bench. He is the only guy healthy here aside from Torain and if Torain struggles, Hillis could get more work. He blocks well, has great hands and can clearly catch the ball. Like Torain he is a rookie but unlike Torain he has game experiance. Will he repeat last week. Unlikely, hence my do not start him statement. But even though the Denver backfield is no longer DENVER RB and more denver rb it's still worth watching for a starter late in the season.

That's it for Denver - we are going to be back later with Cleveland's prospects for tonight.

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