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Fantasy Football: The Answer to Your Aaron Rodgers Problem





He plays for the most pass-happy offense in the league, has a quarterback rating north of 105 and has completed over 63 percent of his passes for five touchdowns (and no turnovers) against two top 10 pass defenses in the last two weeks. “He” is not Aaron Rodgers, “he” is the key to filling the short-term void left by Rodgers in your fantasy football lineup.

He, my friends, is Jason Campbell.

With a second-consecutive 35-attempt, 280-total-yard, multiple-touchdown and no-turnover game, Campbell has been rock solid since taking over the starting QB gig.

You read the first sentence of this piece correctly, not a single team in the NFL has thrown the ball more this season than the Cleveland Browns (23 more attempts than any other team), giving Campbell fantasy value by volume even if you’re not buying him as a talented quarterback. Those numbers, remember, were accumulated with Brandon Weeden (whose season QB Rating is less than or equal to five quarterbacks completion percentage) under center, Josh Gordon suspended for two games, Trent Richardson demanding a heavy workload and against a handful of respected pass defenses. In other words, they aren’t going to stop throwing the ball now.

It may not be a sexy thing to say, but the Browns have a reasonable set of weapons. Jordan Cameron (50 catches on 71 targets for 600 yards and six touchdowns) is a full grown man at tight end in his third season, Josh Gordon can stretch the field (third highest percentage of catches of at least 20 yards for those receivers with a minimum of 25 receptions), Davone Bess is the check down man (averaging over 70 catches per 16 games since 2009) and Greg Little (had the second best PPR game of his career last week) has proven capable of the occasional strong performance. That passing attack becomes more appealing when you consider that the Browns have been unable to do much of anything on the ground — Cleveland running backs are averaging a shade over three yards per carry this season.

Campbell is on bye this week, but I’m guessing you already had a backup QB on your roster. If that’s not the case, nab Christan Ponder (vs. Washington Redskins on Thursday night) to hold you over. After you get past this weekend, Campbell is a good play for the next three weeks, which theoretically covers you for the entirety of the Rodgers’ injury. The Browns next three opponents have allowed 36 passing touchdowns and only 14 interceptions, a trend that should encourage an already pass dependent offensive unit.

Their next two opponents have allowed a quarterback to pass for at least 350 yards and three touchdowns within the last three weeks. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a tempting resume if I’m looking to replace Rodgers and qualify for the playoffs.

Looking for further fantasy advice? Reach out to me @unSOPable23 or check out my recent work.

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Fantasy Football Vulture Victim: Washington Redskins' Alfred Morris





Is it annoying? Of course it is. That’s six rushing touchdowns in the last three weeks that have been vultured from Alfred Morris (three by Roy Helu and another three on Sunday by Darrel Young), making his Fantasy owners wonder about what could have been. However, if you own Morris, I’m not dealing him, and if you don’t, I’m getting aggressive and trying to acquire him.

Helu and Young have been ridiculously efficient when given an opportunity (one score every 6.4 carries), a rate that cannot possibly continue. Morris hasn’t scored a single touchdown inside the 10-yard line this season (0-8), but he is still converting at a 30-percent rate from in close, a ratio that I’m willing to bank on moving forward.

How would you rank these two running backs?

Player A: 151 carries for 717 yards and five touchdowns

Player B: 133 carries for 686 yards and five touchdowns

You’d probably considering Player B as the running back you’d rather take a flier on, right? His higher yards per carry hint at a more dynamic style, thus giving you more upside (considering how close they are statistically) as the season progresses. Care to guess who these players are?

Player A: 2012 Alfred Morris, a top five RB in most every format.

Player B: 2013 Alfred Morris

What is he doing better this year? Morris is getting stronger as the game progresses (averaging 16.7 percent more yards per carry on attempts 11-20 than 1-10 and 14.3 percent more on carries 21-plus than 11-20). With Robert Griffin III once again looking like the dynamic athlete he was last season, defenses are being spread thin, which has allowed Helu/Young to flourish when the Washington Redskins get in close. Morris only had 22 carries inside the opponents 10-yard line last season, and with eight thus far this season, he’s still getting a similar workload. The touchdowns have come in bulk for the vultures, but make no mistake about it, this is not a committee. Morris is taking roughly 75 percent of the carries by running backs for Washington, a rate that is greater than running backs in Frank Gore and Chris Johnson, two running backs we aren’t worried about from a workload standpoint.

The Redskins still have four games against the NFC East, giving Fantasy owners every reason to be optimistic. Morris leads all running backs in yards per carry (5.2) and is going to continue to run the ball as much as anybody in the league. There might be minor regression from his 2012 season, but Morris is still a top shelf running back, but may be available for less given the attention his vultures have garnered in the past weeks.

 

I’m available @unSOPable23 to answer any and all of your burning questions

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