By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
40, 50 and 50. Those were the percentage of my good calls last week. If I’m playing baseball, I’m making $40 million a year, am I right? Of course, if those were my completion percentages at quarterback, I’m struggling to make a roster in the Arena League.
My point is, you take the good with the bad and you may view this column however you so choose. If you listened to me and started Marvin Jones, Melvin Gordon and Charles Sims against a good Rams defense, you made out pretty well last week right? Of course, if you listened to me and benched Coby Fleener, started Jason Witten and Will Fuller, you’re likely not reading this column right now.
Like I said, the good with the bad.
To refresh what this column is, these are my confidence plays in a Start/Play/Bench format. “Start” represents your studs and numbers twos that will overachieve. Get them in your lineup, stat! “Play” represents some bench or FLEX plays that should outperform their draft position based on matchup. “Bench” presents your studs that you should temper expectations for or FLEX plays you should swap out with a bench player. And really, it’s based off my rankings. Check them out and use them as a guide!
So what will I do for an encore in Week 4? I’m so glad you asked.
WR A.J. Green (CIN) – He exploded in week 1, but Dalton hasn’t looked his way much since then. On Thursday, with a short week of prep and a Dolphins secondary that just gave up 144 yards to Terrelle Pryor, I fully expect A.J. Green to obliterate the opposition just so we don’t forget his name.
QB Cam Newton & TE Greg Olsen (CAR) – Truthfully, you could probably throw WR Kelvin Benjamin into this grouping, as he’ll be extra motivated after not even showing up on the stat sheet last week. But I’m going with consistency, and after Saints TE Coby Fleener went vintage Jimmy Graham on the Falcons defense, I think Olsen should be good for a c-note of his own.
RB C.J. Anderson (DEN) – I mean, if Todd Gurley can do it, surely Anderson can, right?
WR DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) – The Texans were humiliated on Thursday night by the Patriots, and they got 10 days to ponder that. I think the game plan will be a lot of Miller and Hopkins. I feel bad for the Titans. Actually I don’t. I own Hopkins in a league so I’ll be ecstatic when he puts up 120 and 2 touchdowns. Money in the bank!
WR Marvin Jones (DET) – In 2016, there are quite a few certainties. 1) Pay your taxes by April 15th. 2) If you’re a celebrity, you’re officially on the clock. And 3) Marvin Jones is a stud. He’s graduated and he’s staying here until further notice.
QB Kirk Cousins (WSH) – Next up on the “which quarterback plays the Browns this week?” carousel.
QB Trevor Siemian (DEN) – He just lit up the Bengals for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns. And Case Keenum (?!) threw for 2 touchdowns against the Bucs last week. I’ll take the middle, give me 3 touchdowns for Siemian.
QB Joe Flacco & TE Dennis Pitta (BAL) – The Ravens offense has looked pedestrian at best, but here’s a fun stat I found: Flacco’s last 2 starts against the Raiders – 384-2-1 and 341-3-1. He should easily break 300 and 2 TDs, with a good chunk of those yards to Pitta. And we know how bad the Raiders are at covering tight ends.
WR Stefon Diggs & TE Kyle Rudolph (MIN) – Is the Giants defense improved? Yes it is. But who else is going to put up numbers for this offense? These are the weapons, and you should make sure you’re starting them.
RB LeGarrette Blount (NE) – When the Patriots aren’t passing the ball, they’re running it with this guy. Obvious right? Maybe not. He’s quietly scored 4 touchdowns through 3 weeks and leads the NFL in rushing. No biggie.
TE Coby Fleener (NO) – Okay, I whiffed last week. I’ll atone for that decision here. I firmly expect the Chargers to take Cooks out of this game (Jason Verrett is that good) so I expect a lot of Fleener as a result. But heed caution: Drew Brees is NOT the same quarterback away from the Superdome. This could easily backfire, but I’m rolling with it. It wouldn’t be a confidence play column without a few risky submissions, right?
RB Matt Forte (NYJ) – The Seahawks are pretty good, right? I thought so.
TE Delanie Walker (TEN) – Don’t love the match-up and certainly don’t love the fact he missed last game with a bad hammy. Just a bad recipe from the get go.
WR Dez Bryant (DAL) – Last time I put him here he went off for over 100 yards so I’m likely just a Cowboys hater. But it was just announced Bryant has a small hairline fracture in his knee but could still play. If he does, I’m not expecting great things. See Week 3 for Rob Gronkowski and Julio Jones.
QB Eli Manning & WR Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG) – The Vikings defense throttled Aaron Rodgers (admittedly better than Manning) and contained Jordy Nelson (solid but not as athletic as OBJ). I’ll take the under on their performances this Monday night.
QB Carson Palmer (ARI) – If you listened to this week’s podcast, you’ll know The Commish and I are legitimately concerned about Palmer. He’s home against the Rams so it’s as good a time as any to bounce back. But I’m passing this week.