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George Kurtz September 23, 2013 6:25PM EST
When was the last time we saw a first-round pick traded in the NFL? The Browns shook up the NFL and the Fantasy world by dealing Trent Richardson to Indianapolis. How does this change the Fantasy landscape for those two teams? Well, for Cleveland it would seem to signify that they are open for business. The Browns have also let it be known that they are open to dealing receivers Josh Gordon and/or Greg Little. As for the Colts, Trent should certainly find running room easier to come by, as he should rarely see more than seven men in the box. Ahmad Bradshaw’s owners probably weren’t very happy. He finally had the starting job all to himself with the season-ending injury to Vick Ballard and now Richardson arrives and that would seem to end any hope of him being a Fantasy play week in and week out. With the trade deadline in the NFL moved back a couple of weeks this year, perhaps this won’t be the last big deal we see.

Jacquizz Rodgers can ease your RB woes. Photo Credit: wilsonnfl22@yahoo.fr

Jacquizz Rodgers can ease your RB woes. Photo Credit: wilsonnfl22@yahoo.fr

If DeMarco Murray were to play the Rams every week he’d be a Hall of Fame running back.  His two biggest rushing days as a pro have come against St. Louis and it’s not even close. Dallas was committed to the running game Sunday and it paid off handsomely, the question now is, is this a one week thing or will they continue to trust Murray game in and game out? The Cowboys may have to trust the run game more in the immediate future as Miles Austin is once again dealing with hamstring problems and had to leave the game early. Austin has had these problems off and on for a few seasons now and may not be at full strength for a game or two.

The Packers running game is getting thinner and thinner. We all know Eddie Lacy is out with a concussion. The team lost DuJuan Harris during the pre-season with a knee injury and now James Starks is also out with a knee injury.  These injuries may have cost the Packers the game Sunday, as rookie Jonathan Franklin fumbled away a key fourth down run that was returned for a touchdown. Now Franklin did look good during the game, rushing for over 100 yards and a score, so if he is starting for Green Bay in Week 5 (they have a bye next week) then he should be starting for your Fantasy team as well.

Brian Hoyer may have just made Brandon Weeden a memory with his play yesterday. Weeden missed the game due to a thumb injury and could end up carrying the clipboard for awhile. The Browns leadership was unsure about Weeden’s future anyway, and Hoyer’s numbers Sunday were 30-54 for 321 yards and three touchdowns. At the very least Hoyer deserves to start this week. As for the running game minus Richardson, no one stood out Sunday. Willis McGahee only had nine yards on eight carries, and that outing certainly didn’t justify all of the Fantasy owners who may have spent a good portion of their FAAB or top waiver wire priority on the running back. Gordon’s owners, though, have to be thrilled with his performance and as mentioned above, if the Browns are indeed looking to deal him, his value only gets higher. One thing to keep in mind, however,  is that if he has one more run in with the league, he could be facing a one-year suspension.

Most Fantasy pundits, myself included, were pretty much all in on the Kansas City/Philadelphia game last Thursday, advising you to start just about anyone and everyone. Well that didn’t work out so well for anyone involved in the passing game not named Donnie Avery. I’m going to chalk this up to the short week effect. Doesn’t it seem like most of these Thursday night affairs are sloppy games? As for Avery, Alex Smith admitted after the game that the Eagles almost always had Dwayne Bowe double covered, so that forced him to find other options, and that option was Avery. This won’t happen every week.

Well the Patriots are 3-0 with an offense that is the definition of a work in progress. Things really should get better, maybe even much better, as Rob Gronkowski could very well return this week, and even Danny Amendola could return. This offense could get back to being explosive once again. I have to wonder how many Fantasy owners benched Kenbrell Thompkins yesterday? Oops!

Watching the Buccaneers is like waiting for the executioner to pull the switch. It’s just a matter of time until coach Greg Schiano and QB Josh Freeman are gone. If you’re in a deep league and need a QB, Mike Glennon should be picked up.

Mark Ingram is officially dead to me.

If you’re looking for a dartboard throw, especially in deeper leagues, it might not be a bad idea to give Andre Ellington a shot. Rashard Mendenhall is banged up, and even when healthy he  is more of a plodder nowadays than a breakaway threat. Ellington, however, could be that home run threat that every team needs out of the backfield.

Everyone is talking today about how the Redskins are 0-3 and struggling behind Robert Griffin III. Some of that is true, but if Aldrick Robinson would’ve controlled the bomb from RGIII as he crossed the goal line, a different narrative would’ve been written about this game. Even so, he completed 64% of his passes for 326 yards. He’s getting better, it’s just a slow process. He’s even running more now, as he had 37 yards on six carries. Fantasy wise, he’s just fine.

Joique Bell is pretty much a must-start week in and week out, regardless of whether or not Reggie Bush plays. He may not be explosive, but in that offense he doesn’t need to be, and the Lions use him in all situations. Don’t forget about Nate Burleson either, he’s quietly having the season many Fantasy owners thought Ryan Broyles would have at draft time.

What is wrong with the Giants? Eli Manning was sacked four times yesterday in the first quarter. It seems if Eli isn’t throwing picks, then he is getting sacked. Perhaps the line is to blame, and not David Wilson, for most of the problems in the running game as well.

Bernard Pierce was another big pickup on the waiver wire this week (assuming he wasn’t on someone’s roster). Is he a nice addition to your Fantasy team? Yes, but he’s not Ray Rice. He doesn’t have the explosiveness of Rice nor can he be used in all the situations Rice can. He’s really just a nice complementary back.

Fantasy owners have to know that Roddy White should be benched until he proves he is not only healthy, but can be effective again. Luckily for Matt Ryan he still has plenty of other options to throw to in Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, even Harry Douglas is contributing and could make a worthwhile free agent addition. As for the running game, without Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling both looked good against a better-than-average Miami defensive front Sunday. Rodgers will try to do a little shake and bake to get around defenders, while Snelling will just try and run through them. This makes for a good combination. Jackson is probably out again this week and if either one of these two is still on your waiver wire, you should go out and grab them.

That was two catches for 22 yards that Mike Wallace had yesterday. I have a feeling this won’t be the last time we see these kind of numbers from Wallace. He could very well be a boom-or-bust type of player all year long If defenses are going to play a safety over the top and eliminate the deep ball, then he may be nothing more than a decoy, as Ryan Tannehill is unlikely to force the ball in his direction.

C.J. Spiller had to leave the game early Sunday with a thigh bruise but should be good to go this week. Problem is, he really wasn’t doing all that much when healthy.  As of right now he is in the first-round bust category, but it’s early yet, he has plenty of time to put things together, no reason to panic, yet.

You have to wonder if yesterday was the last hurrah for Ahmad Bradshaw. Sure, he rushed for 95 yards and a score but Richardson should be ready for a much bigger role next week. T.Y. Hilton was another player that was injured, played through it, but didn’t do anything for Fantasy owners. This is becoming a trend this year.

I wonder how many Fantasy owners were ticked about all the garbage time points and yards the Jaguars got yesterday after the game was well out of hand? I also wonder how many owners benched Maurice Jones-Drew because of the injury and the tough matchup. Well at least now you can feel safe to plug him back into your lineup this week.

Once again the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The Dolphins threw the ball a ton to Mike Wallace after he complained and the Steelers did the same last night to Antonio Brown after he spoke up earlier this week. At this rate, Frank Gore should have a monster game this week as he had a confrontation with coach Harbaugh about not being used enough after the 49ers loss to the Colts on Sunday.

Don’t forget the bye weeks start in Week 4.  Green Bay and Carolina both have the week off.

As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.


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