Another NFL week and another set of injuries, the biggest being that of Seattle’s Richard Sherman going down with a ruptured achilles. All in all, fifteen players were reportedly injured in Thursday night’s matchup between the Seahawks and Cardinals.
As it pertains to the Pace U. Crew fantasy league, we’ll see which teams were most affected by the Thursday night injuries, and pick up where we left off last week. Below are the current standings ahead of the upcoming Sunday games.
Somehow, some way, Cayman Rays (8-1) continues to lead the pack, having made very few free agent moves after successfully ‘auto drafting’ its team to start the season. SuperfectaStunnas, FAHQ, Meezy Esq., and NY Hitmen all sit above .500, while the rest of the field looks to battle it out for the sixth playoff spot. Luck of Lucien has a chance to re-enter the playoff discussion, while a loss for Money Mike or Big-Blue Wreckin Cru will essentially end their championship hopes.
Let’s take a look at the fantasy lineups slated to go in each matchup on Sunday, barring any last minute additions or player swaps by team owners.
In a matchup that has little meaning to top-seeded Cayman Rays (8-1), the team will face second place SuperfectaStunnas (6-3). Cayman Rays posted a 14-point spot on Thursday night by playing the Seattle defense, a team that lost (at least) four defensive players during the game. Safety Kam Chancellor, defensive end Frank Clark, defensive tackle Jarren Reed, and cornerback Richard Sherman exited the matchup. That said, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Stunnas’ Jacksonville defense post 20 plus points against an up-and-down Chargers offense.
Defenses aside, it’ll be interesting to see how Stunnas’ JuJu Smith-Schuster bounces back after his 193-yard game, and if DeAndre Hopkins can continue to see monster targets from backup quarterback Tom Savage. Though there are a few more days before the Sunday games, we’ll see if Cayman Rays decides to add a quarterback in absence of Carson Wentz (bye), or play the game without adding a replacement. With the strength of its record and roster, Cayman Rays may want to give away the position and look ahead to week eleven instead. The biggest challenge for Cayman Rays moving forward will be operating without suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The matchup between FAHQ (6-3) and Stuugotz TD’s (4-5) may be the fantasy highlight of the week. FAHQ’s team is stacked and Stuugotz needs this game to avoid entering a dog fight for the sixth playoff seed. FAHQ’s running back combo of Le’Veon Bell and Leonard Fournette is a knockout punch. The fact that Jimmy Graham already put up a 14-point spot in the Thursday game by scoring two touchdowns doesn’t make matters any better for Stuugotz. FAHQ’s Matthew Stafford also has a juicy matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
Stuugotz has several issues. The first being that its running backs can’t match with Team FAHQ. Adding to that issue, Matt Forte was ruled out for week ten and Stuugotz’s other running backs (Jay Ajayi and Legarrette Blount) are on bye. Andrew Luck is well done for the season, so Stuugotz finally needs to drop the injured quarterback in order to help its squad out this week. It appears to be Stuugotz’s only bench spot, and at this point in the season, there’s little wiggle room for error. Barring a 50-point game from Tom Brady, we don’t expect Stuugotz to win this matchup.
Maddawgs (4-5) has an uphill battle on its hands this week, facing the upward trending NY Hitmen (5-4). The issue for Maddawgs is its running game. Though Aaron Jones is clearly the best back in Green Bay, the coaching staff seems set on a RBBC between he and Ty Montgomery. As it did last week, this uncertainty will hurt Maddawgs production at the position. Additionally, Latavius Murray is a hit or miss play, as Jerick McKinnon is definitely the lead dog now. Atlanta’s Julio Jones hasn’t put up monster numbers this year and appears to be slightly hobbled entering the week. Between the Joneses and Murray’s ineptitude, we wish the best for Maddawgs. Like Stuugotz, the team could be on the verge of falling into a dog fight for the sixth playoff seed.
NY Hitmen has itself in a good position this week. The team is already above .500 and plays a team in Maddawgs that may help it increase that percentage. Nothing’s a lock for Hitmen, but outside of hobbled Delanie Walker, the team looks good on paper. It’ll be interested to see how this one plays out.
The matchup between basement dwellers Luck of Lucien (3-6) and Big-Blue Wreckin Cru (2-7) is hard to make out. Lucien’s Ben Roethlisberger isn’t very good on the road, but has a good matchup against the Colts defense. It’s also uncertain as to whether or not Alfred Morris will lead the Cowboys’ backfield, a potential boon for Lucien. Josh Doctson isn’t the most consistent receiver, though Lucien does have the option of swapping him out for Titans’ Corey Davis. The Bills’ offense looks stronger with the addition of Kelvin Benjamin, so the Saints defense could disappoint this week for Lucien.
For Big-Blue, wide receiver Paul Richardson disappointed in Thursday night’s game and Doug Baldwin missed a spectacular touchdown by inches. Both Carlos Hyde and Austin Hooper should be in line for big games, while Philip Rivers has a tough matchup against top-ranked Jacksonville. Big-Blue will definitely need to add a defense to have a chance in this week’s game, as the Philly defense is on bye. This matchup is too close to call, but both fantasy squads desperately need a win.
It’s been a tough fall from grace for Money Mike (2-7) this season, a team that’s used to making the playoffs as a top seed. However, the two-time champion of years past truly appears to be down for the count. Although Money Mike posted the third highest point total in week ten (following the loss of Deshaun Watson), the team still took a loss. To date, Money Mike is the only team to have 1,000 points scored against it. No one has any sympathy though, as this is the beauty of fantasy. The moving parts are often unpredictable.
This week, Money Mike could potentially get a gift from Team Meezy (5-4) to help its playoff hopes. During the Thursday night matchup, Adrian Peterson only managed 43 total yards and coughed up the ball, leaving Meezy with just a two point spot going into Sunday. Additionally, Meezy has key players on bye and may not want to risk dropping them for a chance at a single win. Sometimes we all need a little luck to get back in the running and this could be the week that the stars align for Money Mike.
We’ll check in next week to see how each team made out.