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The Blue & Gray Press | February 18, 2018

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Fantasy Football Corner

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QB: Matt Ryan (ATL): Besides being the guy with the worst nickname in sports, “Matty Ice” has been equally disapointing on the field in 2011. He ranks 17th among quarterbacks in fantasy points and his yards per attempt (6.6) ranks 24th among 32 eligible signal callers. But this week is going to be the start of Ryan’s turnaround, as the Panthers defense that will oppose him on Sunday ranks 28th in opponents passer rating (99.6).

RB: James Starks (GB): The former sixth round pick has shown spurts this season, but overall has been a disappointment in his failure to secure more carries in the Green Bay offense. However, with the Rams and their 31st ranked run defense traveling to Lambeau Field this weekend, Starks should be able to have a breakout performance. Green Bay should get an early lead and then pound the ball in the second half, so Starks should have plenty of opportunities.

WR: Miles Austin (DAL): Tony Romo’s top receiving target is set to return following a hamstring injury that had him sidelined the past couple of weeks. Some preach caution when a skill-player is returning from injury, but Austin is reportedly practicing fully and the matchup against the Patriots league-worst pass defense is another encouraging sign. If Austin’s active, play him with confidence.

RB: Ryan Torain (WAS): Whether it be Denver or Washington, the Shanahan running back system is always an infuriating one for those who own one of his backs in fantasy football. Torain exploded in Week 4 against the Rams, and this was coming off not having a single carry in the team’s first three games. Last week was Washington’s bye week, but Torain and the Redskins get the Eagles and their 30th ranked run defense. If Torain gets the carries again, he should be in line for another fruitful fantasy day.

WR: Mohamed Massaquoi (CLE)
TE: Kellen Winslow (TB)
K: Olindo Mare (CAR)
DEF: Cincinnati Bengals

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QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF): The Amish Rifle has been a pleasant surprise to fantasy owners this year, ranking eighth in points among quarterbacks. But the Harvard grad is coming off a pair of mediocre games as the Bills have focused on RB Fred Jackson and the ground game. With Buffalo squaring off against the Giants and their 22nd ranked run defense on Sunday, look for the Bills to continue their ground and pound philosophy.

RB: Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC): Jones-Drew has quieted the doubters who worried about his knee coming into the season and had a very successful season to date. However, with the Steelers on slate this week, I think MJD is about to have his worst game of the year. Pittsburgh’s run defense hasn’t been the traditional power it’s been in years past, but look for the Steelers to stack the line and make rookie QB Blaine Gabbert beat them over the top. Once the Jaguars get down, they’ll have to abandon the run, which will limit Jones-Drew’s touches.

WR: Brandon Marshall (MIA): I’ve grown to feel incredible empathy for Brandon Marshall. He was stabbed this offseason by his wife. He announced that he has borderline personality disorder. And now that Chad Henne is out for the season, his quarterback is going to be Matt Moore (yes, the same guy who couldn’t beat out Jimmy Clausen for the starting gig in Carolina last year). A terrible QB and Jets CB Darelle Revis hounding him all day when Miami travels to the Meadowlands this weekend is not a recipe for success.

RB: Jahvid Best (DET): The former Cal running back showed some great burst on a couple of runs last week en route to his career-high 163 rushing yards. The reason I’m not buying it is because the Bears defense Best did it against on Monday night ranks 28th in rush defense and gives up an average of 5.7 YPC on the season. Best will find things much more difficult this week as the Lions host the 49ers, who have the 4th best run defense and have yet to allow a rushing touchdown on the season.

WR: Jeremy Maclin (PHI)
TE: Dustin Keller (NYJ)
K: Neil Rackers (HOU)
DEF: Dallas Cowboys

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QB: Tim Tebow (DEN)
RB: Jackie Battle (KC)
WR: James Jones (GB)
RB: Earnest Graham (TB)
WR: Jason Avant (PHI)
TE: Ben Watson (CLE)
K: Rian Lindell (BUF)
DEF: Oakland Raiders

Last Week: 9-6-1
Overall: 32-30-2