Cleat Geeks

Cover 3: Week 8

Believe it or not, we are approaching the halfway mark of the regular season. I know, I know, it’s making me sad too. After this week, there will be a number of teams who have already completed half of their games. Because of this, I think that this is the correct time to analyze teams’ performances. For example, if the Chiefs lose to the Lions, they may want to start preparing for next season. On the other hand, if the Texans beat the Titans, they move to 3-5 and still have a legitimate shot at winning the division because of how bad the Colts have played. With the trade deadline on Tuesday, the performances of many teams and players will be analyzed more than ever. This should make for some fantastic football to watch as players are not only playing for their jobs in some cases, but also playing to keep their teams playoff relevant. Okay, enough of this, let’s get into some games!


Fantasy Jackpot Game of the Week—Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta Falcons


For the “Fantasy Jackpot” this week, we have a battle two NFC South teams. I found this to be the game that combined fantasy-relevant players with fantasy-relevant matchups.

The Bucs enter this game only 2-4, but their offense has been playing better than their record states. Even though they blew a big lead against the Redskins last week, there were plenty of great fantasy numbers. Winston threw for 297 and two touchdowns. Martin continued his strong running and finished with 136 yards on the ground, and added 35 yards in the receiving game as well. The other running back, Sims, also continued his quietly efficient play as he added 66 total yards. With Jackson going down hurt, Mike Evans stepped up and finishedMike Evans with eight catches for 164 yards with a touchdown. Unfortunately for Tampa, it sounds like Jackson will be out on Sunday, and could be missing more games in the future. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was hoping to make his return this week, but also looks like he will be out. There was another terrible injury last week as the third wide receiver on the team, Murphy, tore his ACL and will be out the rest of the season. Rookies Donteea Dye and Adam Humphries will look to help fill the void this week as the Bucs hope to continue their strong offensive play (averaging nearly 420 yards over the past three games). Martin and Sims will both look to have strong games since the Falcons give up more fantasy points to running backs than any other team. They have really struggled with covering pass-catching backs, and that is something both Martin and Sims do well.

After a poor offensive showing last week, the Falcons look to get back on track against a less-than-stellar Tampa defense. They are giving up nearly 30 points per game on the season, something the Falcons should be able to take advantage of. The offense’s struggles last week all go back to Matt Ryan. Besides him, the other two fantasy-studs, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones, both had solid games. Freeman finished the game with 130 total yards, but failed to find the end zone. Julio finished with a game-high nine catches for 92 yards and a score. He also accumulated 17 of Ryan’s 38 targets. With both of their numbers, you would think the Falcons could have scored more than 10 points. Luckily this week they face a defense that gave up 317 yards and three touchdowns to Kirk Cousins last week. Julio should have a big game and should find plenty of space deep down the middle of this defense. With Hankerson out again (hamstring), Roddy White and Jacob Tamme should get 5-6 targets each as the defense’s attention will be on Freeman and Julio. Even though Freeman faces a tough matchup with this defense, you still have to start him. I’m not sure if he’ll get 100 yards on the ground, but he should be able to get 100 total yards since Ryan should be able to find plenty of success passing the ball.


“Bad Blood” Game of the Week—Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers


This AFC North rivalry has usually been a hard-fought one in the past. This game will mark the 91st time these teams have met; Steelers lead the series 56-34.

Coming off their bye, the Bengals head to Pittsburgh with the expectation of remaining unbeaten. Many have thought this team has looked like the best in the league up to this point. Andy Dalton has been nothing short of amazing as he looks to continue his career year. Through six games, Dalton has 1761 yards with 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He has also added two more touchdowns on the ground so far. He has shared the wealth with his receivers so far: Green for 531 yards, Eifert for 342 yards, Jones for 321 yards, and Sanu for 260 yards. The only thing that has been kind of disappointing is the play of running back Jeremy Hill. He only has 232 rushing yards on 74 attempts (3.1 avg.). Change-of-pace back Gio Bernard has been much better so far. Bernard has 427 yards rushing (5.5 avg.) and 119 yards receiving. Hill has not had the season that most predicted, but he looks to get back on track coming out of the bye.

The Steelers look to narrow the gap and inch closer towards the top of the division. Steelers fans are pretty pumped up this week as the anticipate the return of their quarterback,Houston Texans v Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger. He has missed the past four games with a sprained MCL, and with his return, the Steelers look to have one of the top offenses in the league again. He passed for 300+ yards in both of the games he completed this season, and those games were without Bell and Bryant. Big Ben has yet to play a full game with Le’Veon Bell this season, and he hasn’t played with Bryant at all. With all of these guys along with Antonio Brown and Heath Miller, this offense is one of the most dangerous in the league. It’s pretty insane to this that this 4-3 team is the favorite over the 6-0 team, but it is reality. We will season if the odds are right Sunday when these two go to battle.


Must-Watch Showdown—Green Bay Packers vs Denver Broncos


This is the most anticipated game of the week by many, including me. A battle of two unbeaten teams coming off their bye will take place a mile-high in Denver on Sunday Night Football. This game is also a rematch of Super Bowl XXXII where Denver pulled out the win 31-24. It will definitely be a tough, strategic game as the best quarterback in the league faces off against the best defense in the league.


The Packers limped their way into the bye-week, but luckily come out of it a bit healthier. Eddie Lacy, who has be one of the biggest disappointments this year, had a week off to not only rehab his ankle, but to also slim-down. He hopes to get back on track, but faces an uphill battle Sunday since the Broncos give up the fourth-least rushing yards in the league at only 89.2. Usually this would mean the defense gives up quite a bit of passing yards, but that this not the case here. Aaron Rodgers also will face a big challenge since the Broncos give up the least passing yards at an amazing 192.2 per game. When teams complete passes against this defense, it only seems to be to the defensive players since they also have ten interceptions. The biggest reason for all of these interceptions has been the pass rush. The Broncos have sacked the opposing quarterbacks 26 times in six weeks, but one could argue that they haven’t faced an offensive line as talented as the Packers’. With their skill and Rodgers’ awareness, this will be Denver’s toughest matchup so far. Rodgers will use his hard counts to try and draw the Broncos off-sides and hopefully slow down the pass rush. It sounds like the Packers will get wide receiver Davonte Adams back after he exited the game in week three. This Packer team is loaded with weapons since they also have Cobb, Jones, Montgomery, and Janis to throw to. They also have a change-of-pace running back in James Starks, who comes into the game questionable with a hip injury, but should play.

NFL: Divisional Round-Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos

As good as the Broncos have been on defense, their offense has been atrocious. I can only assume that offense was on the top of the priority list in things to address during the bye-week. Hopefully Kubiak was able to swallow his pride a little bit and let Peyton Manning run the offense he is comfortable with. This has also been the only offense Peyton has looked good in this season. If I see one more Peyton Manning bootleg, I may just throw up. Denver will need to show that they can run the football effectively to win this game. They have averaged an atrocious 85 yards on the ground this season, but had 152 two weeks ago after letting Hillman have the majority of the carries. So far this season, Hillman has looked much better than Anderson. Hillman has been the quicker, more decisive runner. Anderson has been slow, hesitant, and unable to break the weakest of arm tackles. I would expect Hillman to get the majority of the carries in this matchup again. Peyton has been the most criticized player so far this season, which some has been deserved, but much undeserved. I have watched every down of Broncos football this season (also of Packers), and I really do feel that he is fine. If Peyton is able to run the offense he is comfortable with and is able to read the defenses, he will be able to have a pretty solid second half of the season. He is passing to two of the best receivers in football, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. They each have 527 yards, but Sanders has been so much better. Thomas has looked lethargic at times and has had struggles finishing his routes, but hopefully he took the bye-week to heal and re-focus.

This will be a great prime-time game on Sunday night. One of these teams will continue their perfect season while the other gets their first loss of the season. Many experts don’t know who to pick yet, and I am just not sure yet either! So let me know what your pick is!

What did you think of this week’s Cover 3? You can post your questions, answers, and comments down below, or talk to me over on Twitter @FantasyFlurry. If you mention that you read the “Cover 3” article, I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out!

Leave a Reply


If you like this site or just simply want to school your friends because you got the information first.  

Join us on the field! Click on any of the links below.

%d bloggers like this: