(Photo by The Los Angeles Times)
Every week, self-proclaimed fantasy experts try to advise you on starting and benching players. The most notable are Matthew Berry (ESPN.com), Michael Fabiano (NFL.com), and Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com). To their credit, they can surprise us with their picks. Although, the reality shows that the picks they were right on were ones that you could have made yourselves and the ones they told you to sit were ones that you could have played.
Matthew Berry - Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
A big push for the whole "expert" community after they saw him rush for 148 and catch for 5 yards in two games versus the San Diego Chargers last year. As he filled in for the injured Priest Holmes in a rematch, Ware did not repeat his past efforts; he mastered them. He rushed and received for 199 yards in an overtime victory versus the Bolts, giving him 25.9 fantasy points in standardized leagues.
Michael Fabiano - Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders
Murray rushed and received for 82 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown in a road win at a place known for home-field advantage, New Orleans.
Jamey Eisenberg - Marvin Jones, WR, Indianapolis Colts
An average-to-above average secondary with Vontae Davis. Without him, it's anemic. Jones took advantage by not only setting up Matt Prater's game-winning field goal but catching four passes for 85 yards.
Me - Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Cleveland Browns came to town. Mathew's ground game (77 yards and 1 rushing touchdown) was good enough to help the Eagles take them down and you in fantasy (13.7 points in standardized leagues).
Matthew Berry - Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Best in the game? How could two touchdowns passing and one rushing not? Along with that, he passed for 199 while rushed for 16. Good enough for 23.56 points in standardized leagues.
Michael Fabiano - Jordan Cameron, TE, Miami Dolphins
Cameron has been nothing but a one-hit wonder whose career started to worsen once repeated concussions took their toll on him. To be put him in a Start 'Em, Sit 'Em column at all is a joke. The guy simply cannot play anymore, and, with his blatant physical and statistical declines, you not drafting him along with him retirement for his own health's sake would have made me feel much better than being told to not play him.
Jamey Eisenberg - Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks
A 260-pound wide receiver that cannot block in a run-heavy and offensive line-inept offense was a bad option regardless of his target total. Russell Wilson was meant for wide receivers, anyways. Just go ask John Carlson, Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet, and, former Raider and Seahawks tight end, Zach Miller.
Me - Philadelphia Eagles Defense
Known as a vast sack producer, the Wide 9 was a wide load for Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III as it found 3.0 sacks from defensive linemen Fletcher Cox, Connor Barwin, and Brandon Graham. The defense also benefited from Griffin throwing one interception and fumbling once, but was likely surprised when center Cam Erving fumbled too.
Matthew Berry - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Like he would rush for nothing at all? He may have had a bad performance in Super Bowl 50, but it's not as if he would throw for 0 touchdowns versus 5 interceptions and miss out on his press conference. Newton ran for 45 yards on six carries in last year's championship game and built on that performance last Thursday night.
For 21.16 standardized fantasy points, he rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown against the defending World Champions and even passed for one touchdown to a familiar face that was worthy of benching according to the next analyst down below.
But why bother about ability when he stayed for a full press conference despite showing what dangers football can do to your memory?
Michael Fabiano - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
So what if Denver stopped wide receivers last year. Like there was any film on Benjamin in 2015 when he sat out with a torn ACL? Also, how did Aqib Talib do against Devin Funchess in Super Bowl 50?
Jamey Eisenberg - Jared Cook, TE, Green Bay Packers
Did Eisenberg watch Jared Cook's preseason? How was he going to ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars when he caught just 85 yards on nine catches while playing with decent looking backups, Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan, against second and third string players?
The preseason defenses are not that intense in comparison to the regular season and first stringers were sitting left and right. When those dynamics existing along with Green Bay doing what I have done to Cook, ignoring a player like him since Jermichael Finley retired, what was the big deal about a player that cannot do what was analogous to what Terrelle Pryor did this preseason?
Me - Zach Miller, TE, Chicago Bears
He may have been nearly the same upgrade that Martellus Bennett was, but Houston's defense made as big of a fool out of him as it did with me. He may have caught 75 percent of his passes like in the last eight games of 2015, but they were only for 14 yards. I figured that the Houston Texans may have only stopped tight ends from scoring touchdowns. Unlike their performances against Greg Olsen, Delanie Walker, and Benjamin Watson, I never cared to realize that they can eliminate their yardage too.