C.J. Anderson kicking other backs to the curb in Denver


RB Fantasy Football News

So the carousel that is the Broncos backfield continues to go round and round. The latest running back to grab the starting spot is C.J. Anderson and he may very well be the cream of the crop.

The young fantasy RB had 27 carries for 167 yards while averaging 6.2 yards per carry against a stout Miami Dolphins that gave the Broncos all they could handle. He was also efficient in the passing game, hauling in all four targets that came his way for 28 yards. Another stat popping off the sheet is that over the course of the last three weeks, Anderson leads the NFL with 473 all-purpose yards in front of the Chief’s Jamaal Charles and the Buccaneers Mike Evans.

The pre-season hype for Monte Ball is long gone now and there’s no reason to waste a roster spot on him. Another running back that had the starting position was Ronnie Hillman who has been struggling with injuries of his own. This left Anderson in the driver’s seat and his fantasy value is skyrocketing through the roof.

The Broncos have been looking for a back that’s going to stay healthy and who is primed to give them steady production ever since the departure of Knowshon Moreno. Anderson seems to be the best candidate to help the Broncos running game get back on track.  Look for him to stay in the RB news.

Anderson was likely an unknown name to fans outside of Denver before the season, but now he is someone who you really need on your team. The 23-year-old was an undrafted free agent that the Broncos signed in 2013 and he is making someone in Denver’s front office look like a genius.

Even if Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball return for Week 13, Anderson should be considered a low end RB1 with nothing but upside. The amount of carries Anderson received during Week 12 were the most for any Broncos running back since Moreno had 37 carries against the New England Patriots during Week 12 of the 2013 season.

For insight into this and other RB fantasy news, stay tuned to ASL!

Ryan Mallet is definitely NOT the answer for Houston's offense


If you watched the Houston vs. Cincinnati game, I hope you were tipping your figurative (literal is fine too) cap to me. I’m not wrong about QBs…and ta-da: Ryan Mallett has now been revealed as a fraud. He was never ‘the answer’ for Houston and was never close to being on the list of best fantasy football keepers. If you haven’t already, start getting your Tom Savage Dynasty stashes together…as I advised two weeks ago (and back to June 2014).  Here is a list of some trends in the NFL fantasy world.

 — Isaiah Crowell had the TDs, but Terrance West won the carry-count tally 14-12. Both are decent, but maddening, non-PPR RB options week-to-week.

 — Time to start taking rookie IDP Telvin Smith a little more seriously. One of our ‘deep NFL fantasy sleepers’ a couple of weeks ago, he posted 13 tackles/10 solos. I look forward to re-watching this game to see if he was playing ILB a bunch…and thus may stick at that position rest of 2014 given the Jags ILB issues (he is an OLB by trade).

 — Andrew Hawkins is very much in play for a PPR Flex option week-to-week, and is one of the better sleeper picks for this week. The Josh Gordon factor helps him a ton; it does not hurt him for output. When Hawkins is not drawing heavy coverage he is free to roam, and allows Brian Hoyer just hit him with simple passes he can ‘catch & run’ with.

 — I’ve been making excuses for Reggie Wayne in my mind for weeks. I tend to have a bias against veteran players, but Wayne is still a very good NFL WR…and works with a top QB—all things good for Fantasy. I tried to be sure not to have a bias. However, he looked slow and clunky in this game…and has looked that way a lot recently. I’m about ready to jump ship of being favorable to him.

 — Dan Herron was more favored than Trent Richardson in their Week 12 game —just like Ahmad Bradshaw was. It looks like Herron is the Colts RB to have now…just assume he is ‘Bradshaw-lite’ going forward. He’ll hold that until (if) Zurlon Tipton gets his shot. 

 — If Blake Bortles is not the worst QB in the NFL, I’m not sure who is.

 — I love the way Jerick McKinnon is working on the field, but the stink of Norv Turner’s offense clings to him for FF-purposes. He’s never going to get TDs in this terrible 2014 offense.

 — I knew Matthew Stafford was fading, but 13 TD/10 INT thrown in 11 games this season…wow.

 — I buy LeGarrette Blount as the power RB for the Pats for the rest of 2014, a RB who is more talented than Stevan Ridley or Jonas Gray.

 – Kenny Britt’s stat line will look like crap, but he had a 50+ yard TD catch stolen from him on a pathetic penalty on the O-Line, having nothing to do with anything. He lost his TD catch, and thus lost the Rams’ momentum that was about to knock the Chargers out early.

 — Another week, another Russell Wilson 70+ yard rushing effort. He’s done so in five of his last 8 games, and three-straight. Just as I have been harping on: He’s usually giving you 7 to 17 Fantasy points per game with his feet before you start looking at the passer totals.

 — Another week, another low output in the 2.0s for yards per carry for Andre Ellington. When Arizona fades to end the season, they’ll blame Drew Stanton, but they should look at the RB management…and the total collapse of Michael Floyd.

 — Considering how badly Odell Beckham Jr. humiliated the Cowboys pass defense. What do we think Jordan Matthews might accomplish against them on Thanksgiving Day? Or when they play again two weeks after that? Mark Sanchez suddenly has a little more value watching Eli Manning not-struggle with Dallas.

 — Last week, RG3 died to me along with all mobile-QBs, and then I was surprised that the same sentiment hit a few in the national media as well last week. This week, I’m totally over Jay Cutler. I was never a huge fan, but I bought into Trestman + awesome WRs = Cutler FF-good. Umm, no. It’s cliché, but true…Cutler is the most ‘sad sack’ QB in the NFL. No more benefit of the doubt in 2014 from me. No more ‘he might’ thoughts in a great matchup. I’ll just assume he’ll disappoint and then raise half an eyebrow if he tosses 3 TDs. Two Detroit matchups the next four weeks…no thanks.


R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM


Texans running back Alfred Blue is primed to run all over the Bengals


RB Fantasy Football News

It looks like fantasy RB stud Arian Foster is well on his way to sitting out another game for the Houston Texans. Foster missed last week’s game giving rookie standout, Alfred Blue, a chance to breakout in Cleveland where he rushed 36 times for an astounding 156 yards.

Now fantasy owners get to see if Blue’s big day was a fluke or a sign of things to come as the Texans play host to one of the worst rush defenses in all of football, the Cincinnati Bengals.

The fact of the matter is that Blue was a beast in college and there’s no reason to believe he won’t lay waste to the Bengals during Week 12 if he can get the carries. Blue is an old school ground and pound type of runner who welcomes contact on every snap and has the potential to break off huge chunks of yardage.

Another backup runner who had a fantastic Week 11 and made our RB fantasy news was the Patriots Jonas Gray. He stunned a national audience last week when he shredded the Indianapolis Colts defense for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns on the evening.

He was certainly the hottest waiver wire pickup in fantasy football last week, but expecting Gray to put up numbers anywhere close to what he did last week would represent a serious error in judgment.

Gray was just the primary chess piece in Coach Bill Belichick’s game plan to keep the Colts offense and Andrew Luck off of the field. The Patriots will have a much different game plan during Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, a team that boasts one of the toughest run defenses in the NFL.

Expect New England to feature more Shane Vereen and much more Tom Brady against the visiting Lions. Gray should be viewed as a RB2/Flex option who should at the very least get the majority of goal line work against the Lions.

Keep up with the latest RB news with ASL!


Time for fantasy owners to sit back and watch Josh Gordon fly



1. WR Josh Gordon, CLE:

Gordon is finally back from his suspension and is seemingly ready to pick up right where he left off. A fantasy superstar from a year ago, Gordon had a record breaking year, going for 87-1,646-9 (breaking 100 yards in 7 games) in only 14 games. As the Browns are fighting for a spot in the playoffs, they will be relying on their star wideout to help them get there. Coach Mike Pettine stated that Gordon would be limited to a snap count, but that should not deter fantasy owners from starting him for Week 12, as Cleveland takes on Atlanta's league-worst pass defense (allowing 281.2 passing yards per game). Josh Gordon is a must fantasy football start as he makes his return to the field for Sunday's contest.

2. WR Mike Evans, TB:

Rookie Mike Evans has arguably been the hottest wide receiver as of late, going for 21-458-5 in his last 3 games combined. Evans surpassed veteran Vincent Jackson as the number one wide receiver for Tampa Bay, and seems to be the only offensive player producing on a weekly basis. He has completely taken over the offense, and has a favorable matchup ahead of him as the Bucs head to Chicago to take on the Bears. Chicago ranks 25th in allowing 256.4 yards per game through the air, and last in surrendering 29 points per game. Coming off the best performance of his young career (7 catches for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns), the young stud should be expected to keep the ball rolling as he continues to make a name for himself.



1. RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA:

Lynch is coming off back-to-back solid performances (21-140-4 and 24-124-0), but will have a difficult time continuing that high level of play against a stout Cardinals defense. Arizona ranks 3rd in surrendering 80.4 rushing yards per game, while also ranking 2nd in allowing a minuscule 17.6 total points per game. Marshawn Lynch has had a strong showing in what may be his last season in Seattle, but this bump in the road could be significant, coming at an inopportune time for the middle-of-the-pack Seahawks. Expect Lynch to put up low RB2 numbers as he will struggle to get things going.

2. RB Alfred Morris, WAS:

Alfred Morris is coming off a solid game where he rushed for 96 yards, and added 36 yards from his two receptions. However, he most likely won't be able to put up a second straight solid performance, as he and the Redskins square off against a very tough 49ers run defenes. Morris has a tough task ahead of him against a San Francisco rush defense that ranks 6th in the league allowing 88.6 rushing yards per contest. With the spotty and erratic play of Robert Griffin III, Morris will struggle to find open running lanes. Consider Morris nothing more than a middling RB2 for Week 12.

For more fantasy sit start advice, stay tuned to ASL!


Ben Tate will play backup behind Jerick McKinnon against the Packers


RB Fantasy Football News -

For a minute, it seemed like the Minnesota Vikings were in full panic mode. Adrian Peterson was basically suspended for the remainder of the year and out of nowhere, the Vikes signed free agent Ben Tate out of Cleveland.

Matt Asiata (concussion) and Jerick McKinnon (back) are both in RB news, dealing with injuries, but signing Tate seemed to be a bit of a mystery until Coach Norv Turner cleared things up when he stated the McKinnon is still the team’s lead back and that Tate was an insurance policy back.

“Obviously, we’re in a situation where we had one back that could practice, so the timing of (Tate) being released and the opportunity for us to add a back, certainly it was good timing,’’ Turner said.

McKinnon returned to practice on Thursday and stressed that he was in no danger of missing the team’s Week 12 matchup against the visiting Packers. The bad news is that Green Bay is scoring points so quickly, that team’s are abandoning the run game shortly after kickoff.

Asiata is carrying a doubtful tag coming into Week 12 and Tate will need some time to get familiar with the playbook. McKinnon is the only viable fantasy RB option this week and Green Bay does allow 4.5 yards per carry.

ASL has the latest in RB fantasy news - stay tuned!

Peyton Manning - Struggling with injured receivers and a banged up backfield


QB Fantasy Football News -

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has been in the league for far too long to let a few mediocre games get deep under his skin, but there are certainly times when his frustration is impossible to miss. So who is this interception throwing imposter and what has he done with the real fantasy QB stud Peyton Manning? Dare we say the golden boy is not looking so…golden at the moment? Well, let’s not go too far with the acquisition, but yes, it’s apparent that Manning is throwing more interceptions than usual.

In QB news, Manning had only succumbed to tossing three interceptions through the Broncos first seven games. Now compare those first seven of games to his last three games where he has thrown an outstanding six interceptions as if he was the second coming of Brett Favre!

However, this is Peyton Manning we are talking about and fantasy owners should not show any signs of concern or even think about benching him. Manning has thrown for at least two touchdowns in every game except one this season. If that doesn’t impress you, Manning has thrown for more than 250 yards in eight out of ten games thus far.

Manning and the Broncos are also struggling with significant injuries right now. Emmanuel Sanders is going through the NFL's concussion protocol, Julius Thomas has an ankle issue and all of his starting running backs are out for at least the next two to three weeks. At this point, the team is going to be relying on Manning’s arm even more than usual.

So fantasy owners, yes Manning is suffering through a little rough patch right now and throwing some uncommon interceptions, but let us take a step back and let Peyton Manning do what he does best, and that's score you fantasy points for you and win you games.  Keep reading our QB fantasy news on Fantasy Focus for updates.

Jeremiah Attaochu could pile up his sack total very quickly

Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups -

DE Jeremiah Attaochu, San Diego
Attaochu is the Chargers’ 2nd-round (#50) draft pick out of Georgia Tech this year. Some scouts rated Jeremiah Attaochu as a late first-round prospect/talent, but he missed the NFL Combine battling a hamstring injury. In his young NFL career, he has been nicked up as well and has missed some games of late. The fact is that he has not been fully, consistently healthy to build/grow into more playing time this season. However, he was back in the lineup as of last week…and had a couple of tackles, and a timely sack of Derek Carr late in the Chargers narrow win over the Raiders.

Why I would mention Attaochu now? It's not because he is a high draft pick coming back into playing time, but it’s more that he is a terrific pass rusher…and he could jump onto IDP radars quickly (in sack favorable scoring systems). In his final two seasons in college, he posted double-digit sacks (10.0 and 12.5) each season…and was a general menace on every play. He is insatiable trying to get to the QB.

Working with the current Chargers’ D-Line, Attaochu might have a Connor Barwin-esque run of sacks as he gets more playing time…a guy who isn’t discussed as a top pass-rusher, but you look up and suddenly he is getting sack totals in bunches.

LB Christian Kirksey, Cleveland
Karlos Dansby is going to miss a few weeks with injury, and Kirksey is a guy who can fill right in and put up equivalent numbers. Last week, when Dansby left early…Kirksey had nine total tackles. Back in Week 7, against Jacksonville he posted nine tackles as well. In his final three seasons at Iowa State, he averaged over 100+ tackles per season. He is a tackle accumulator. He’s a solid athlete, but has an above-average feel for the game. He might give you multiple games with double-digit tackles while Dansby is out.  He is one great option out of the short term fantasy pickups available.

DB Ron Parker, Kansas City
Parker is really starting to come on for KC, even with Eric Berry back. With Berry’s return, Parker has been playing more Cornerback, and in the past two weeks, Parker has averaged 9.5 total tackles and 1.5 PDs (three in his game vs. BUF). Prior to Week 11, he had a PD in five straight games. Because of his inexperience, QBs are going after him…so his PD counts should be solid. In 10 games played this season, he has seven or more tackles in five of them.

Parker is a terrific athlete out a small college (Newberry). He is a 4.4+ runner (clocked in the 4.3s at a Pro Day) with great burst and agility in a 205-pound, 5’11”+ frame. He is a very willing tackler with a nice wingspan to reach after ball-carriers in space, or deflect incoming passes.
He is a 4th-year player who has bounced around, mostly with Seattle who had a log jam of DBs and couldn’t keep him. He’s found a home in KC…playing CB with a Safety mentality.

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM


Kenny Stills got a boost in value when Brandin Cooks went down with an injury


Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups -

1. WR Kenny Stills, NO:

Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills has seen a spark in value as fellow wideout Brandin Cooks will be out for 2-4 weeks with a thumb injury. Stills put up a solid showing last week, going for 4-32-1 against the Bengals. He's likely to be much more involved in the Saints offense as the season comes to a close. As their WR3, he is next in line to start opposite WR Marques Colston, and should still be left open due to defenses focusing on superstar tight end Jimmy Graham. Stills has shown the ability to use his speed and quickness to make big plays, but will now have more opportunities as his snap count is sure to increase drastically. 

2. TE Coby Fleener, IND:

Colts tight end Coby Fleener's stock is on the rise as starting TE Dwayne Allen has sustained an ankle injury, and could possibly miss next week's contest with the Jaguars. Fleener's rapport with former college teammate, and now Colts QB Andrew Luck showed as the two connected on 7 passes and 144 yards. After Allen went down, Fleener was the focal point of their offense as the Patriots defense was purely focused on stopping T.Y. Hilton. Fleener's role in Indy's offense should be present in the weeks to come as he is a reliable check down for Luck, and he can be added as a middle-of-the-pack TE1 in standard leagues.  If available, Fleener is one of the better fantasy pickups around.

3. RB Jonas Gray, NE:

Jonas Gray exploded into the fantasy picture as the Patriots thrashed the Colts, making the term "breakout performance" an overwhelming understatement. The 24-year-old newly relevant New England running back took 38 carries for 199 yards and 4 touchdowns. However, his expectations should be tempered as this is only one impressive showing he's ever had, and against a weak rush defense. Immediately, he should be viewed as a RB2 against the Lions very stout rush defense, but has a major upside as an important piece to the Patriots offense.

4. WR Jarvis Landry, MIA:

Landry has been a solid contributor in Miami for the last 3 weeks, and his role in that offense makes him an intriguing add in fantasy leagues. He's coming off a 5-46-1 line as the Dolphins took down the Bills, scoring a touchdown for the second time in 3 games. He managed to turn the ball over in special teams against Buffalo, yet made up for it by making a nifty move at the goal line to get into the end zone on the very next drive. His rapport with QB Ryan Tannehill is only growing stronger and this could bode well for his value for the end of the season. Consider Landry a WR3 for the next couple weeks, especially in PPR leagues.

Took them long enough - The Raiders finally give Latvius Murray his shot


It may FINALLY be Latavius Murray time. He's been close to the top of fantasy sleeper picks for a long time. The Raiders finally gave Murray some playing time and he answered the bell with 4 carries for 43 yards and 3 catches for 16 yards on 4 targets. The good news, and not shocking to us: He looked so obviously superior to the existing and tired, ancient RB duo in place. He’s going to be a hot name in smarter FF circles. He may even catch heat among the masses this week. If he wasn't on the Raiders, he may even make the list of best fantasy football keepers.  

Here is a list of some trends in the NFL fantasy world.

– Assuming Fred Jackson is cleared, he will waltz in and takeover all the main touch responsibilities. However, there will be a MAT-BACK situation looming. Two weeks ago, when FJax came back from injury quickly, there was a quasi-three-way between him, Bryce Brown, and Anthony Dixon. If you have to bet on one—you go FJax. 

— Just to save us all time: If you have a sit-start question that involves a Cleveland Browns RB, don’t even bother asking me…your guess from one week to the next is as good as mine. This ‘hot hand’/MAT-BACK approach is the wave of the near future…like when the ‘pistol’ QBs were going to take over the NFL a year or two ago.

 — Rams IDP CB E.J. Gaines has six or more tackles in four of his last 5 games…6.4 tackles per game in that span.

 — Don’t lose sight of Chris Hogan as a very viable, decent PPR WR in deeper leagues. See our BUF-MIA recap to get a bio and trending on Hogan.

 – Jerick McKinnon’s targets in games since Teddy Bridgewater became the full starter from Week 6 on: 5-6-4-1-4-7 (4.5 per game). Look past the game with one target, and in the other five games he is averaging 5.3 per game. The awful Norv Turner offense, whatever that is, will dump a lot of passes to the RB.

 — The last three weeks of carries for Steven Jackson: 18-16-17 (17.0 per game). You could do worse in your RB despair.

 — In the past four weeks, Philip Rivers has 6 TD/6 INT and all four games below 255 yards passing, three of them below 210-yards…and a 1-3 record with a lucky win at Oakland.

 — IDP LB Brandon Marshall has three double-digit tackle counts in his past four games, averaging 10.8 tackles per game in that four-game span.

 — Pierre Garcon in RG3’s first two-games back from injury: 2.0 catches for 10.5 yards and 0.0 TDs on 5.5 targets per game. Let’s just put a fork in this one…more on that in the WAS-TB recap slated for Monday. 

 — Jordan Reed vs. Niles Paul in RG3’s two games back from injury:

Reed = 1.5 catches for 19.5 yards and 0.0 TDs on 2.0 targets

Paul = 2.5 catches for 17.5 yards and 0.0 TDs on 3.5 targets

 — How is the NFL takeover by Pistol/running QBs going? RG3, Colin Kaepernick, Tim Tebow, Michael Vick…are all between awful and limited. Russell Wilson isn’t exactly lighting up the airways either, but there is hope there because he is a pass-first QB.

A year or so ago I started readjusting all out scouting metrics to allow more room/grace for the running QB (the ‘wave of the future’ in the NFL). We had slammed these run-first type QBs in our scouting metrics prior. Now, I might just go back to Classic Coke, and ditch New Coke on the QB scouting.

 — The last six weeks of TD passes for Matt Ryan: 1-1-1-2-1-1 (1.2 per game). Two of them Antone Smith screen passes converted into gifts for Ryan. He also hasn’t gone past 275 yards passing in the last five games. He has one 300+ yard game in his last nine games.

 — The last two weeks for Mohammed Sanu: 2.5 catches for 21.5 yards and 0.0 TDs on 6.5 targets. He had a near-miss TD this week, but it still was a flimsy week. Once A.J. Green came back the fade began.

 — Charles Sims’ rushing output in his first two NFL games: 21 carries for 59 yards (2.8 ypc).

 — IDP LB Emmanuel Lamur has averaged 9.7 tackles per game in his last three starts with Vontaze Burfict out.

 – Roy Helu has the 8th most catches among all RBs this season.

 — Last two weeks of Andre Ellington rushing: 37 carries for 65 yards (1.8 ypc).

 — Ahmad Bradshaw limped off Sunday night, which means it’s probably time to try to gin up excitement for Trent Richardson. Some FF-analysts will be clever with dropping some Daniel Herron ‘best NFL fantasy sleepers’ discussion…and that’s reasonable. The real sleeper play…you know who it is: If anyone aside from FFM recommends Zurlon Tipton, I hope they note they heard about him here first in April…May…June…July…

If I do get the due credit, the earth may stop rotating, and we’ll all die. If you don’t know our scouting on Zurlon Tipton…my friend, you need College Football Metrics.com…or all the other Internet places I gave briefer teases. It’s too soon for Tipton, most likely, but he likely sees active duty if Bradshaw is out. Then he gets a couple of heartbeats closer to the prize. Those with deep roster Dynasty leagues, if you haven’t indulged already…you may be getting final chances. Maybe…

Tipton’s more of a 2015+ story, I would suspect.


R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

Week 10 provided rays of hope for Frank Gore owners


RB Fantasy Football News

Frank Gore fantasy RB owners were on the ropes before Week 10. Gore ran the ball just 9 times for 20 yards and no TDs during Week 7 and 14 times for 49 yards and no TDs during Week 9. (Week 8 was a Bye Week)

Between splitting time with Carlos Hyde and a pass first ask questions later offense, Gore’s usage was on the a serious decline. But Week 10 provided rays of hope for what was starting to look like a lost season, landing Gore back in RB fantasy news.

Last week against the Saints, Gore got the ball 23 times rushing for 81 yards and touchdown. A more balanced run and pass attack by the 49ers made all the difference in the world for Gore. It also indicates that was once evolving as a running back by committee approach, is not going to happen. Hyde has clearly taken a backseat to the veteran touching the ball only 12 times during the team’s last three games.

It’s important to keep in mind that Gore’s rushing numbers are NOT setting the world on fire. He’s only averaging 3.5 yards per carry during his last four games, but it’s clear that Niner’s offensive coordinator Greg Roman trusts him over Hyde.

Gore should produce another strong game during Week 11 as the 49ers travel to the Meadowlands to take on a struggling Giants defense. The biggest obstacle for Gore owners right now is the 49ers remaining schedule with two of the team's next five games against the Seahawks.

For the most up to date RB news, keep following ASL!