Meridian Star

November 2, 2013

Fantasy Forecast: Lacy could run wild on Bears

By Zach Kilpatrick / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Week 9 is here and there are lots of really good players on bye this week. So make sure to check your roster, because not even Peyton Manning scores on his bye week (that is this week.)

    It is important that you understand my ranking system, I don’t necessarily expect a player ranked No.1 to score a lot more than a player ranked No. 3 or No. 4, but they are a safer play. I rank players based on:  matchup, odds of doing well, and health. Matchup is important; Adrian Peterson is always good, but is much safer vs. San Diego (No. 32 vs. running backs) than the New York Jets (No. 1 vs running backs). I also like safe plays, so you won’t ever see strictly third-down receivers or goal-line backs here. Those guys are boom or bust and I rank those low. And this week Jimmy Graham isn’t No. 1 because he isn’t 100 percent healthy and will see fewer snaps. So here we go: (as always players from Thursday night’s game have been removed from these rankings)



Quarterback                1. Drew Brees (NO)

2. Tony Romo (DAL)

3. Cam Newton (CAR)

4. Philip Rivers (SD)

5. Aaron Rodgers (GB)



Running Back

1. Jamaal Charles (KC)

2. Adrian Peterson (MIN)

3. Matt Forte (CHI)

4. Lesean McCoy (PHI)

5. Marshawn Lynch (SEA)



Wide Receiver

1. Jordy Nelson (GB)

2. Dez Bryant (DAL)

3. Brandon Marshall (CHI)

4. Andre Johnson (HOU)

5. Desean Jackson (PHI)



Tight End

1. Jordan Cameron (CLE)

2. Jimmy Graham (NO)

3. Antonio Gates (SD)

4. Rob Gronkowski (NE)

5. Jordan Reed (WSH)



Kicker

1. Mason Crosby (GB)

2. Stephen Gostowski (NE)

3. Dan Bailey (DAL)

4. Adam Vinatieri (IND)

5. Ryan Succop (KC)



Defense/Special Team

1. Seattle Seahawks

2. Kansas City Chiefs

3. Carolina Panthers

4. Tennessee Titans

5. New England Patriots



    Players that are not ranked but that I am really high on this week:

    Eddie Lacy (RB/GB) — Traditionally Chicago is a tough defense to run on, but this year they are ranked 26th in points given up to opposing running backs, and Lacy has been earning some extra carries as of late. Don’t be surprised if he tops 100 yards and finds the end zone this week. He is really my fifth ranked player. If you have him he is a clear first running back this week.

    Pierre Garcon (WR/WSH) — Garcon is playing for a team that is playing from behind a lot this year — so they are throwing a lot this year. Don’t expect that to change this week. The Chargers are ranked 29th in points given up to opposing wide receivers. Garcon is not a top 5 receiver this week, but surely a top 10.

    Tony Gonzalez (TE/ATL) — I know he hasn’t been what you expected since Julio Jones and Roddy White have been out, but that’s because he is getting doubled. With the emergence of Harry Douglas as a real threat, he might see a little more room. Ryan will have to throw to keep up with Carolina this week. By the way, Carolina is about middle of the pack at points allowed to opposing tight ends.

    Saints D/ST — They are playing a Jets team that is liable to fumble or throw a pick at any moment, but just as importantly their special teams have looked good lately and they should be able to hold the Jets to a low total, they aren’t in my top five, but not outside of my top 10.



    With 6 teams on bye this week, including both Mannings, Matthew Stafford, and Colin Kaepernick here are a couple of quarterback fill-ins that might help you get a W this week:

    Terrelle Pryor (OAK) — I know, I know, earlier I said I don’t like boom or bust players, which he normally is, and I do not recommend starting him over a top 10 quarterback. But, as a bye-week fill-in he should be a top 15 or so quarterback. He is only owned in 29 percent of leagues so chances are you can get him and he is playing Philadelphia who is 29th best (or third worse) at points allowed to opposing quarterbacks, this is about the safest game to bet on Pryor.

    Jake Locker (TEN): — I didn’t put him in my pickup’s for Wednesday this week, but don’t be surprised if I do next week. He has been great when healthy this year and has only thrown one pick to eight touchdowns.  With the Rams on a short week after a hard Monday night game, and the Titans coming off a bye he is a good play. Again not a must-start, but as a fill in should be a top 20 quarterback.

    End Note: Trick or Treat: When you play backups you never know, that bye week may have been a trick, or a treat. That’s why we play this game.



    Zach Kilpatrick has played fantasy football since he had to use a pen, paper, and newspaper to play. He has finished first in ESPN standard leagues twice, runner up once, first in a Yahoo league once and has been playing in a 16 team IDP and PPR dynasty league since 2009.

    The opinions in this column are just that, his opinions, and are not guaranteed in any way.

    Zach’s column will run in The Star’s Wednesday and Saturday paper each week.