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Take It To The Bank: NFL Week Five

By Brett Malamud

It’s another edition of your weekly guide to fantasy football with some intriguing pickups and some must-starts. Here’s week five’s installment of Take It To The Bank:

Jumpin’ for Julio

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones finally came down to earth this week, bringing in just four catches for 38 yards. That was pretty surprising to owners, as the Falcons put up 48 points in a rout of the Houston Texans. Jones practiced on a limited basis this week, complaining of tightness in his hamstring. He is active Sunday and will play the Washington Redskins. Not too many worries here, and you should keep him in your lineup.

Return of the Gurley Birds

Maybe it’s my fascination with St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley, but he put on a show last week. Gurley ran for 146 yards in just his second career NFL game. He is who we thought he was, and now he’ll look towards that first big touchdown. While he plays the Green Bay Packers this week, he should still produce numbers. Keep him locked in your lineup and get ready for Gurley to take over.

Todd Gurley is ready to roll now that he's settled in. (Via SR)

Todd Gurley is ready to roll now that he’s settled in. (Via SR)

Brees Easy

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees played ok for most of last week’s matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, with the walk off 80-yard touchdown to C.J. Spiller being his big play of the day. This week, Brees heads into Philadelphia to face the Eagles, and I think that it could be another good week for the veteran QB. He’s a must start for me.

Alex the Great

Many are looking into possibly using their bye weeks to pick up a possible replacement for their players sitting out. One of these players to look in to is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Smith is at home Sunday against the Chicago Bears and that is an interesting matchup. Smith has the second most dropbacks in the entire league right now, and with a weak Bears defense, Smith is an intriguing play.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank- NFL Week Four

By Brett Malamud

The injury bug has taken its hit on fantasy football lineups everywhere. Here’s some guys to replace them, including a guy who you should probably look into trading for (if the person who owns him will even give him up). Here’s week four’s installment of Take it to the Bank:

Can’t Catch Karlos

With LeSean McCoy out, Rex Ryan turned to running back Karlos Williams, who led the Buffalo Bills with 110 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. He’ll be back there again this week at home against the New York Giants and is going to have another big game.

 

Karlos Williams has done a great job taking over for LeSean McCoy (Via Miami Herald)

Karlos Williams has done a great job taking over for LeSean McCoy (Via Miami Herald)

Rueben’s Revival

Speaking of the Giants, week three saw the reemergence of wide receiver Ruben Randle. We all knew what he could do at his best, but it took a few weeks for Randle to get back to himself. He finished last week with seven catches, 116 yards and a touchdown. Don’t expect this kind of performance every week, but every now and then, Randle will go off.

Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard

Up to this point, the league’s top wide receiver has been Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones. In three weeks, he’s had 34 catches for 440 yards and four touchdowns. Not bad, huh? This is the guy to break the bank on if you’re looking to make a blockbuster trade in your league. Fantasy owners, keep riding Julio, who has no intentions on having any ordinary appearances.

CJ2K15?

Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson came out and looked like the Chris Johnson of old. Not the guy we saw with the New York Jets. Nope. Johnson looked like he was back on the Tennessee Titans, carrying the ball 22 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson also had a 40-yard catch that almost went for a touchdown. While I’d only take Johnson in deeper leagues, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has said that Johnson will start this week no matter what the status of Andre Ellington is. It’s a situation worth monitoring over the next few weeks.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank- NFL Week Three

By Brett Malamud

Another week is here and you know what that means! Here is week three’s installment of Take it to the Bank:

Take a Chance(llor)

After weeks of frustration in Seattle, strong safety Kam Chancellor ended his holdout and returned to practice this week. The Seattle Seahawks are 0-2 headed into their home opener on Sunday, and with Chancellor back in the mix, look for this defense to return to being one of the league’s best.

While we’re on the topic of the Seahawks, tight end Jimmy Graham made headlines this week when it came out that Graham was frustrated with his reduced role. Now as I pointed out a few weeks back, we knew that this would happen. With an elite running back like Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks are destined to run the ball. Graham is being utilized as a blocker right now, but don’t expect him to NOT make an impact. Graham has the second most red zone targets (four) out of all of the league’s tight ends (New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has the most with five). Expect Graham to catch some for touchdowns. Now is the time to buy low on Graham.

Now is the time to buy low on Jimmy Graham (Via USA Today)

Now is the time to buy low on Jimmy Graham (Via USA Today)

Fitz and the Tantrums

I think we were all shocked by the three touchdown performance by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Now, this was against a weak Chicago Bears defense, but the hype is real. I believe that Larry Fitzgerald proved that he is not done yet. Expect a healthy dose of Larry Fitz as he takes on a weak San Francisco 49ers defense.

Devin’s Day

With news that New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is out this week, the number-two receiver slot is up for the taking. With Chris Owusu also out this week, timing couldn’t be better for second round pick Devin Smith to make his NFL debut. Smith was a long ball threat and speed receiver at Ohio State, and I’m expecting him to channel that with the Jets. You probably won’t see a big impact immediately, but with the possibility that Decker might miss multiple weeks, Smith could be a sneaky addition to your fantasy team in deeper leagues.

Matthews, Matthews, Matthews

With news of the Philadelphia Eagles setting DeMarco Murray inactive for week three, running back Ryan Matthews will get the start against the Jets. This is where I stay away, as the Jets have the fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Then we head to the other Matthews for the Eagles at wide receiver with Jordan Matthews. This is my “buyers beware” player of the week. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis will likely be on Matthews for the entire game. This matchup would essentially take Matthews out of the game and out of your lineup.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank- NFL Week Two

By Brett Malamud

The second week is here and there were many surprises in week one. From the four-touchdown game by Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, to the 27-point fantasy outburst from Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski. We look back on those performances, and look ahead to the upcoming week with our weekly prediction column: Take it to the Bank.

AP Gets It Together

Last week, we watched as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was held to just 31 yards on 10 carries. Not really the numbers that fantasy owners were expecting after almost all took him in the first round. This week, Peterson and the Vikings return home for the first time this season. I’d expect AP to get his regular workload and should make an impact against a Detroit Lions team who lost some big guys off their line this offseason.

 

Adrian Peterson looks to get back on track (Via Fantasy Pros)

Adrian Peterson looks to get back on track (Via Fantasy Pros)

It’s On Like Gronky Kong

This past week, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan said that he may have to opt to put three defenders on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. While I found this a bit humorous, I don’t really think that Rex was kidding. There will be times where Gronk has three players covering him. I’d expect Gronkowski to have a below average game, but anything is possible. Pats wide receiver Julian Edelman is expected to have a good fantasy outing, and Danny Amendola is a sneaky play this week.

Super Mariota

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was in for a huge week in week one, becoming just the second rookie quarterback ever to throw four touchdowns in his first career game. This week, Mariota turns his attention to the Cleveland Browns, who just allowed a big game to New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. Expect big things for the rookie this week.

Macaroni and Brees

The search party is out for New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees this week. Listen, I know that he still threw for 355 yards last week against the Arizona Cardinals, but the stat that stood out to me was that Brees had only one touchdown pass on four trips to the red zone. Now while there is concern about Brees, the veteran will get to try in week two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who allowed four touchdown passes in the first half to Marcus Mariota. We’ll see how much easier that makes it for Brees. Start him as normal.

Gurley Birds…Again

In case you haven’t heard, the St. Louis Rams have been practicing with running back Todd Gurley this week. The rookie halfback isn’t supposed to return to the lineup until week four after tearing his ACL last season at the collegiate level with Georgia. This is great news for Gurley owners, as it signals the possibility of a week three return. Currently, Gurley is listed as questionable for this week’s matchup against the Washington Redskins, but I’m not confident that Gurley will play this week. Look for Tre Mason to get the start at running back for the Rams.

UPDATE (Sunday 9/20 @ 11:30 AM): Gurley is inactive today. The Rams are targeting a week three return.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank- NFL Season Kickoff

By Brett Malamud

Another NFL season is finally here! In seasons past, we have published our season predictions on the opening night of the season. Don’t worry! Those will be published on Sunday. However, over our first two years, we’ve received multiple requests for fantasy football advice. Well today, we’ll be introducing a new weekly section called “Take it to the Bank” where we’ll offer up a few bold predictions for the upcoming week. We hope that this section helps you in those last-minute lineup-tinkering situations. We’ll start off week one with a few bold predictions for the entire season. Enjoy tonight’s season kickoff and here is the first installment of Take it to the Bank:

Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood

We’ll begin with the question brought up recently in Wisconsin. Can quarterback Aaron Rodgers win a Super Bowl without top target wide receiver Jordy Nelson? The short answer is yes. The Green Bay Packers are extremely deep and Rodgers is still going to be one of the league’s top quarterbacks. Rodgers still has top wide receivers in Randall Cobb and Davante Adams, along with a fantasy sleeper pick in tight end Richard Rodgers. But wait, there’s more! Running back Eddie Lacy is the top fantasy pick out there in my opinion and will help Rodgers power this team deep into the playoffs.

 

The Newest Seahawk

Tight end Jimmy Graham was shipped out west this offseason and joins a hungry Seattle Seahawks offense, which fell one yard shy of a Super Bowl title last season. Will the offense succeed? Yes. But don’t expect Graham to put up the numbers that he did in his time with the New Orleans Saints. Thanks to running back Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks will run the football A LOT. New Orleans ran a very pass heavy offense and that is where Graham found his success. I’m not saying to beware of Graham in fantasy because he’ll still be reliable, but I will say don’t overvalue him.

The Book of Eli

The last year has been a shaky one for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning but I think that we’ll see the Eli of years past this season. I’m not saying that they’re Super Bowl bound, because the Giants still have some work to do, but it’ll be a noticeable improvement. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle (a sleeper that you should take in the last round of your draft) and tight end Larry Donnell give Manning an arsenal of weapons to throw to. With no clear cut top running back, look for Eli to throw the ball more and return to his old self this season.

Turn Down for Watt

The Houston Texans D/ST is definitely a unit that you want on your team if you can’t grab the Seahawks defense in your draft. With defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney rushing from either side, this defense is scary. I’d also take a look at the New York Jets defense if you can’t get Houston or Seattle due to their stacked offensive line and upgraded secondary.

The duo in Houston will be a force to be reckoned with (Via SBNY)

The duo in Houston will be a force to be reckoned with (Via SBNY)

Gurley Birds

I am putting this in writing. Todd Gurley will be a great addition to any fantasy football team. He’s slipping in fantasy drafts due to the torn ACL he suffered last November, but as the saying goes, buy low and sell high. I managed to grab Gurley at pick number 86 and for good reason. The St. Louis Rams going to be back in action around week four, and should be a force for the rest of the season. Take him on your team, sit him on the end of your bench while he’s out, and then you’ll have the last laugh come playoff time in your league.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Studs and Duds: NFL Week 13

By Brett Malamud

Here’s week 13’s edition of Studs and Duds:

Stud: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston Texans 

Fitzpatrick had a great day on Sunday, throwing six touchdowns and 358 yards in Houston’s rout of the Titans.

Dud: Cleveland Quarterbacks

Down in the fourth quarter, the Browns brought Johnny Manziel into replace Brian Hoyer. Manziel rushed for a touchdown and in doing so, sparked some controversy in Cleveland. After announcing that Hoyer will start this weekend against the Colts, be sure that Johnny Football fans will be outraged for no good reason at a team that still has a winning record.

Stud: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

Hauling in most of Fitzpatrick’s throws was DeAndre Hopkins, who had 238 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Dud: Jets antics

The Jets are in a bad place right now. It was reported last week that head coach Rex Ryan was forced by the “higher ups” in the Jets organization to start Geno Smith at quarterback on Monday night against the Dolphins. Then the antics continued when the Jets announced the entire offense on the PA system, but didn’t announce Geno Smith. The speculation is that the Jets tried to avoid fans booing Smith.

Rex Ryan was forced to start Geno Smith this week. (Via AP)

Rex Ryan was forced to start Geno Smith this week. (Via AP)

Stud: Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams

Mason was great on the ground and in the air. He finished with 117 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Mason also added 47 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.

Dud: Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys 

Romo didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but did throw two interceptions. He also threw for just 199 yards.

Stud: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Brees hit nine different receivers in route to his 257 yards, five touchdown passing performance.

Dud: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick couldn’t handle the Seattle defense. He threw for just 121 yards and no touchdowns. He also threw a pair of interceptions in the 49ers Thanksgiving loss to the Seahawks.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Studs and Duds: NFL Week Ten

By Brett Malamud

I was pretty impressed in many of this week’s performances. Of course, with great success from your team comes great failure from your opponent. Here’s week ten’s edition of Studs and Duds:

Stud: Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

Beast mode is an understatement as Lynch was phenomenal against the Giants. He had 21 carries for 140 yards and four touchdowns. His fantasy owners must have been happy as he scored 40 points this week in ESPN standard leagues.

Marshawn Lynch had a huge week against the Giants, rushing for four touchdowns (Via Getty)

Marshawn Lynch had a huge week against the Giants, rushing for four touchdowns (Via Getty)

Dud: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton was awful on Thursday Night Football. He completed 10-of-33 passes and finished the night with just 86 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. He’ll try to refocus for next week’s him matchup against the Saints.

Stud: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers 

Rodgers torched the Chicago Bears on national television Sunday night. He threw six touchdowns, with all six coming in the first half. He was pulled in the third quarter.

Dud: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

Brown’s numbers dropped off this week. He caught eight passes for 74 yards, which isn’t really that bad. Well why is he on the duds list then? Oh, that’s right. Brown had two lost fumbles, giving him just three fantasy points for the day in ESPN standard leagues

Stud: Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

Were you expecting anything else? Manning threw five touchdown passes in the Broncos’ rout of the Oakland Raiders.

Dud: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Newton, who hadn’t thrown a touchdown pass since week 7, finally threw one to kelvin Benjamin for a score. The only problem? The Panthers were so far out of reach that the game didn’t matter anymore. Newton threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in a very shaky performance in week 10. He’ll return to Carolina to face a favorable matchup with the Atlanta Falcons in week 11.

Stud: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

After two straight games that had Bryant with less than 35 yards receiving, Dez came alive on Sunday in London. Facing the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bryant hauled in six catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll head into the bye week this week.

Stud: New York Jets 

Finally! The Jets took it to the red-hot Pittsburgh Steelers and came away with a 20-13 win for just their second win of the season. They’ll have a bye in week 11.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy