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FANTASY FOOTBALL

Last updated: October 20. 2013 12:53PM - 949 Views
RICH SHEPOSH For The Times Leader



Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen may be a rookie, but he's becoming a playmaker for Philip Rivers and the San Diego offense.
Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen may be a rookie, but he's becoming a playmaker for Philip Rivers and the San Diego offense.
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It’s a good thing Michel de Nostradamus died in 1566.


If he were alive today, he’d be 509 years old, and the quality of life at that age can’t be a picnic.


And he never got to stick around long enough to pull his hair out over fantasy football predictions. Divining the rise of empires, the fall of princes and the outcome of world wars is a heck of a lot easier than predicting how many fantasy points Tom Brady will score.


Take last weekend, for instance. If you consulted the stars and predicted Bucs QB Mike Glennon would have more fantasy points than Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo, you would have been laughed right out of the prestidigious prognosticators club. Probably before you even walked in.


But you also would have been right.


So, with the mideason pole approaching, and the fantasy world as uncertain as its ever been, it seems like as good a time as any to channel my inner Nostradamus and come up with five “quatrains” for the second half of the season.


Do I guarantee my work? Eh, no. But they’re bound to be as accurate as anyone else’s predictions out there.


1: Chargers WR Keenan Allen will be a Top 10 fantasy wideout the rest of the way. At one time he was considered the top WR prospect in the draft — a mid first-round value. Injury concerns dropped him into the third round, where San Diego was more than happy to take him. He’s caught 20 passes for 302 yards and 3 TDs in the last three games, and his role has increased each week. The Chargers offense is a pass-happy operation and Allen is becoming the team’s No. 1 WR. And a number of high-scoring matchup loom in his future.


2: Nick Foles is the QB you want in Philadelphia. Think the former Sun Devil is just a nice fill-in for the injured Michael Vick? Think again. Philly’s offense needs a healthy QB to keep it humming along and Vick’s history hasn’t exactly been chock full o’ health. If Foles does well against the Cowboys today, Vick may not even get another start. Even if he does get the job back, it won’t last. Eventually Foles will be the guy.


3: Peyton Manning owners will root for the Chiefs. What? Really? Yes, really. Apart from injury, what’s the only thing that can stop Peyton Manning? OK, yes, Superman. But apart from injury and Superman? Having the Broncos salt up the league’s best record and watch Manning sit out during fantasy playoff time, that’s what. Denver plays K.C. in weeks 11 and 13. Manning owners will want the Chiefs to win one one of those games and insure Peyton is on the field in weeks 15 and 16.


4: Tony Romo will be a fantasy beast down the stretch. Yes, we all know the Cowboys’ QB will somehow find a way to blow a game with a late mistake. But an interception here and there won’t kill his fantasy numbers. Romo is already an excellent fantasy QB, but did you look at his remaining schedule? Every one of Dallas’ remaining opponents, except for two, are ranked 20th or below in pass defense. And in playoff weeks? Chicago, Green Bay and Washington – ranked 23rd, 24th and 28th against the pass.


5: Chris Johnson owners, there IS hope. By any measure, the artist formerly known as C2K has been a stink bomb of a fantasy RB. His rushing totals read less like a stat line and more like a locker combination – 70, 90, 21, 17, 33. But if any back has a nice setup the rest of the way, it’s Johnson. There are three teams in the NFL giving up more than 130 rushing yards a game: The Rams, the Colts and the Jaguars. And guess who the Titans get to play? The Rams and the Colts and Jags twice.


QUICK HITS FOR WEEK 7


Start ‘em: If you’re a Drew Brees owner or you’re playing the “matchup game” at QB, you could get a sneaky 300 yards and two TDs this week from Jacksonville’s Chad Henne. The Jags actually have a decent WR tandem in Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, and San Diego is bringing its 25th-ranked pass defense to town.


Looking for a quick and dirty fill-in RB this time of year? Good luck with that. You won’t find many long-term options on the waiver wire. But if you want a one-game stopgap, take a look at the Cowboys’ Joseph Randle. He’s starting today and the matchup with the Eagles means TDs and yards a plenty.


Similar to Randle, Falcons WR Harry Douglas is on a one-game mission. Julio Jones and Roddy White are out, and the entire defense will be shadowing Tony Gonzalez like a 10-year-old girl on “Bring your Daughter to Work Day.” Here’s saying Douglas flirts with 100 yards and a TD.


Sit ‘em: Tom Brady. Yes, Tom Brady. Sit Tom Brady. … I can repeat it again, if you didn’t get it. Even with Rob Gronkowski possibly returning this week, don’t look for Brady to suddenly start partying like it’s 2007. The Jets are a tough matchup, and they usually play the Pats close in the Meadowlands. If you have a better option, use it.


Good days are ahead for the Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell. The Bills, Raiders and Lions are in his future, and he’ll like that. But the Ravens are in his present, and Pittsburgh-Baltimore matchups don’t tend to revolve around the offense.


The fact that Calvin Johnson’s name is here probably means he’ll score 6 TDs. But, realistically, Johnson is dealing with an injury and has a difficult matchup with the Bengals defense. It’s hard to sit Johnson, but this might be the week to consider it.


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