Football and country music go perfectly together. Like Rum and Coke or Brooks & Dunn (well, at least they used to).
Naturally, #CMchat has decided to toss its cowboy hat into the fantasy football advice column world, albeit with a country spin. While I make no claim to being an expert like Matthew Berry, I guarantee to drop enough knowledge to help you win your league, whether you’re a relative newbie like Maddie & Tae or seasoned vet like George Strait.
Welcome to The #CMchat Fantasy Football Hoedown! This week’s column will be a short one seeing that the season started on Thursday and I’m writing it on Friday (I’ll do better next week).
I liked Cam Newton enough to draft him as my No. 1 QB, but I also knew that I likely wouldn’t start him in Week 1…And that was before the rib injuries which now have him listed as Questionable and a “game time decision.” Newton has a ton of talent, but I, like many others have serious questions about his receivers. Thankfully, I drafted Jay Cutler as a back-up. He and his big three (Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte) should tear into my Buffalo Bills this week like Blake Shelton does to a bottle of shine. Expect all four of them to have a great week. Verdict on Newton: If you have a capable back-up, insert him into the line-up this week and take a wait and see approach to see if he and his receivers are on the same page.
What to do with Gronk? Rob Gronkowski is a top 3 TE when he’s on the field. But that’s a big when. He’s listed as Questionable this week and the typically cryptic Bill Belichick isn’t giving up any juicy details (shocking). He’ll be a game time decision, but multiple online sources say he’ll likely be on the field this Sunday. With Gronk’s injury history, drafting a back-up is a necessity. Hopefully, you did just that. Verdict: If Gronk is ready to go (that news usually comes out an hour before game time) play him with confidence. Have a back-up in mind though just in case.
There was a lot of discussion amongst my fantasy football family this week about what to do with suspended WR Wes Welker. Even before the suspension a lot of people were hesitant to draft him due to his frequent concussion issues (he gets concussed about as often as Luke Bryan falls off stages). If you have Welker and bench space, sit him and wait it out. I’ve actually seen people drop him in some of my other leagues. Don’t. He’s far too talented. If he’s on your waiver wire, sign him. Verdict: Like all things fantasy sports, patience is the key. Wait it out and know when Welker returns to the field, Peyton Manning will take good care of him.
All leagues aren’t created equal. I drafted Pierre Thomas as a fourth RB on Takin’ Bills (I drafted eight teams this year, Takin’ Bills will be the only team I’ll discuss in this space). While comparing drafts with a friend (in a much higher profile league), he asked if my league was a PPR league (points per reception). When I replied in the negative he said, “That’s a shame, Thomas is going to have a monster year in PPR leagues.” Some people are saying that without Darren Sproles, Thomas could easily catch 100 passes in that high-powered Saints offense. Add those catches, to receiving yards and of course his rushing numbers and TDs and you could have a top 10 player in a PPR league. Thomas went undrafted in many of the leagues I’m in, if you’re in a PPR league, have bench space, and he’s available, get him. As for my standard scoring league, he’ll likely be used during bye weeks until I actually see those “monster” numbers.
Finally, if you need line-up advice, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @sneezeguard with questions on who to start or sit each week. As long as you’re not in my league I’ll be happy to answer any and all.
An example of such a question, “I have Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin and Frank Gore, which two should I start this week at RB?” This question was actually presented to me by myself this week. I always play the stud so starting Charles is a no-brainer (he was my first round pick for a reason). I drafted Gore as my back-up, but I couldn’t resist inserting him in my line-up this week as he’s going up against a defense thinner than Tim McGraw. Martin rides the pine and hopefully this decision will lead Takin’ Bills to the Riverbank.