NFL Autopsy – October 3

I cashed out this week’s contests. 2 head to heads on Fanduel. One was decided Sunday night and the other I squeaked out late Monday night. Where did I go right?

Alex Smith

I think Alex Smith is for real. He is putting his team on his back and winning games now. You couldn’t always say that about him. On this past Monday night, he was once again, amazing. He was 27 0f 37 for 293 yards, averaging 7.92 per attempt. Terrific stuff. Also add in 7 runs for 56 yards, at 8 yards a clip. Would you sign up for that? I did and I would again. Smith extended drives with his runs as well, 2 were for first downs and one was a TD on a beautiful play fake. Exciting times!

via GIPHY

Smith is not a game manager anymore and anyone who still says that isn’t watching him this year. Smith is a good value because he can hurt you with the pass and scrambling. The Utah product was inexpensive at $7600, I expect that to change in the coming weeks.

Charles Clay

Clay was a value pick for me. I love when value picks work out because they make me look smart. The bills went into the game as significant road underdogs against the Falcons. I thought they’d make it competitive but did not expect Buffalo to circle the wagons. The 6th year man had by far his best game of the season, notching 5 catches for 112 yards.

The Bills attacked the Falcons on 1st down with Clay, clearly catching the defending NFC champions off guards. Teams have targeted TEs against the Falcons highly this year, obviously seeing something on film that the Bills were able to exploit. It also bears noting that Clay is the best tight end Atlanta has faced this year.

Bruce Ellington

Ellington was a value pick that didn’t bomb. He did Ok. Ellington did well, getting 57 yards on 5 touches. The reality is that the Texans didn’t need him and the Titans weren’t stopping anyone. At $4500, as long as he didn’t give me a goose egg, It’s a dub for me.

Final thoughts

As a reminder of how dangerous the game of football is and what it does to the body, Dalvin Cook is done for the year with an ACL tear. I feel horrible for the young man, he showed so much promise. He’ll be back stronger than ever next year. For you season long fantasy players, Cook’s injury might throw a wrench into your plans.

The obvious pickup would be LaTavius Murray who will take over most of Cook’s snaps. Murray didn’t exactly set the world on fire when he played this past Sunday in the loss to Detroit. the 4th year player out of Central Florida played 19 snaps. Murray ran the ball 7 times for 21 yards and caught 2 passes for 8 yards. Maybe a week of taking first-team reps will change his fortunes.

I’m not sure. I didn’t follow Murray’s old team, the Oakland Raiders, but I did know he was quite productive in the 3 years he played there. He was a thousand yard rusher in 2015 and scored 12 TDs in 2016.

From what I could tell, Murray was a good blocker and did not fumble much. He had 4 in 2015 which isn’t great, but that went down to 2 in 2016. I wonder why the Raiders did not re-sign him? It might be telling that Murray could not beat out Dalvin Cook in training camp, however.

Be that as it may, Murray is the number one back now for the Vikings and this is his shot to prove he can be a starter in this league again.

If you don’t want Murray or he isn’t available, maybe Alvin Kamara will suit your needs. Kamara has moved up the charts in New Orleans and even though there is a running back by committee going on there, the rookie out of Tennessee is best RB on the roster. Adrian Peterson was signed in the twilight of the free agency period and has not produced. Clearly, Saints coach Sean Payton was/is not impressed with the future Hall of Famer.

Kamara’s snaps and Peterson’s snaps have gone in the opposite direction. I thought coming out that Kamara was every bit the back Cook was, just had less press about him. Though Mark Ingram had the most snaps in the Saints win against the Dolphins, Kamara did the most with his opportunities.

In just 26 snaps, Kamara ran the ball 5 times for 25 yards and caught 10 passes for 71 yards with a TD.

Don’t believe me that he scored a TD? See for yourself:

via GIPHY

It will be harder to justify keeping Kamara on the bench with production like that.

I will have more on this later on this week. Now let’s get ready for the NHL and NBA seasons. Spreadsheets on spreadsheets!

 

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