Carson Wentz

Flying high: The overachieving Eagles and Jets

The NFL is always good for a few surprises each year. 2017 has been no different. Two present surprises so far during the young season have been the Eagles and Jets, but are they true contenders? Here is a closer look at each.

New York Jets: 3-3

What they do well: The numbers with this team are not going to blow you away. However, they were a top ten  rushing offense prior to the last two weeks, Jermaine Kearse is averaging ten yards a catch, and Josh McCown has more touchdown passes than interceptions. No, the Jets do not have their quarterback of the future, but the guys they have right now are doing just fine.

Jermaine Kearse

Photo: sbnation.com

Reasons to worry: They rank 25th in total defense. The offense will have to do more as the opponents get better. It is hard to imagine the offense being able to keep pace with teams like Kansas City, Atlanta, and New Orleans. The Jets will face all these teams in the coming weeks.

However, New York managed to hang tough in their first meeting with the Patriots Sunday. A controversial call prevented the game from going to overtime. Moral victories do not exist in NFL.

The average of 18 points a game needs to go up. Until it does, the concerns will remain Even so, the Jets proving they are at least capable of scoring enough to make a high power offensive team sweat is a good sign.

What the experts say: More than a few analysts had the Jets going winless this year. Even after their solid start, people still are not buying in. As reported by mytopsportsbooks.com, the Jets are still a 150/1 Super Bowl longshot, barely ahead of the one win team they share a stadium with.

Philadelphia Eagles: 5-1

What they do well: The Eagles did what every team with a young quarterback should do. They went out and got Carson Wentz some weapons. Adding receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith is always going to be a huge help to any quarterback.

Add in the 5th ranked rushing offense and it makes it pretty easy for Wentz to throw for 1600+ yards and 10 touchdowns so far this year. Wentz himself also deserves a ton of credit. Even last year when he had far less talent around him, he accounted for more touchdowns than turnovers. He is poised to lead this franchise for years to come.

Reasons to worry: The Eagles are 19th in total defense. That is not great. However, the offense can carry this team. Ranking in the bottom half of the league in sacks allowed is far more troubling Wentz staying upright is the only way this team plays in January.

What the experts say: Unlike the Jets, some of Philadelphia’s numbers do jump out.  Their Super Bowl odds have shot past division rival Dallas and now sit at 12/1.

Only time will tell what kind of staying power these two teams have. The Eagles appear far more equipped for playoff football, but the NFL never stops surprising us.

 

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Odell Beckham Jr. fantasy injury

Fantasy reaction: Odell Beckham Jr.’s injury

The New York Giants had a rough week 5 on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Not only did they not get their first win, but they also suffered multiple injuries at one position.

The team lost four receivers on Sunday. They lost Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard to ankle injuries within a span of four plays in the second quarter. Then they lost Dwayne Harris to a foot fracture and is out for the remainder of the 2017 season.

But the bigger name is their star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants announced after the game that Beckham fractured his ankle and is expected to miss the rest of the season. This is of course a big blow to the Giants offense and to fantasy owners.

Fantasy players know that they can fix this, even if it’s a high-caliber player like Beckham.

The Giants situation

Granted the Giants had other options, but they don’t have someone to replace a talent like Beckham. Now they face the problem of who will replace the other receivers. According to ESPN, Shapard could miss a couple of weeks, and Marshall’s injury is unknown, but being carted off isn’t a good sign.

Odell Beckham Jr. fantasy injury

Odell Beckham Jr. (Photo by: nytimes.com)

The only wide receiver healthy as of Sunday on the roster is Roger Lewis Jr., who had a 29-yard touchdown catch on Sunday. The Giants made a couple of moves on Monday, promoting Travis Rudolph from their practice squad and re-signing Tavarres King, who played the last three seasons with the Giants. They also have tight end Evan Engram, who is more of a receiver tight end and will likely become Eli Manning’s top target. Also expect running back Shane Vereen to have a bigger role in the passing game.

It will be hard to be rely on these new faces especially with their matchup this week against the Broncos at Denver. Even with a poor offensive line, don’t expect the Giants’ offense to offer reliable fantasy options.  The only players to give a look at especially in deeper leagues are Lewis and Engram and then Vereen only in PPR.

Wavier Wire

The first option is to look at the wavier wire and look at streamable players from this point on. Of course none of these receivers are anything close to Beckham, but they could help you week-in and week-out especially if you need players with good matchups.

The first is to look at Lewis of the Giants. He’s the next man up after the Giants lost four receivers on Sunday. He had a 29-yard touchdown catch. It may not look like much, but with Beckham out and Marshall and Shepard expected to miss time, he could be the new No. 1 receiver for Big Blue. However, his next two matchups are Denver and Seattle, who will both be coming off byes. He might not be the first choice, but shouldn’t be ignored if you’re desperate.

Odell Beckham Jr. fantasy injury

Roger Lewis Jr. (Photo by: sanluisobispo.com)

A streamable receiver to look at is Carolina Panthers receiver Devin Funchess. Since they lost tight end Greg Olsen in week 2, he has seen 27 targets over the last three weeks. Funchess also has crossed the goal line on three occasions over the last two games.

Part of his success is his quarterback Cam Newton playing sensational the past two games. His 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame makes him a natural red-zone target.

The Panthers face the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the next three weeks. These three teams are ranked inside the top-10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers. Funchess also missed practice on Monday with a knee injury, and should be watched closely if he doesn’t play on Thursday.

Other receivers to look at are Jermaine Kearse of the Jets, Mike Wallace of the Ravens, Nelson Agholor of the Eagles and Kendall Wright of the Bears.

Look at trades

If no one in free agency interests you, maybe it’s time to find a trade. Personally I’m not a big fan of trades unless I’m the one receiving the trade, but if times are desperate, then a trade could be in the cards.

One big name that is having a good start to the season is New England Patriots receiver Chris Hogan. Sure he may cost you, but if you have assets, he’s worth it. He may be 31st in the league in targets, but he is a touchdown machine. Hogan has turned four of his last 26 targets into trips to the end zone. They may have lots of mouths to feed in New England, but he has been consistent since week 2 and is continuing to play at a high pace.

Now there’s players to look at who are having down years. Names like Amari Cooper, Terrelle Pryor, Sammy Watkins and Golden Tate could be valuable down the stretch if they turn it around. Some fantasy owners might give up these players for the right price, and it might not take much to land these players. Even with their struggles, they are top receivers on their teams. Their targets will remain consistent, and the plan here is to hope for a bounce back.

Now if you’re one of those players that want to land a star to replace a star then look at Julio Jones. He has struggled out of the gate with no touchdowns, but coming off a bye could be what Jones needs to get going. If you have assets and want to make the swing to the fences, this a trade you want to try.

Best bet: Look for the hot hand

In the end, the best bet is to look at players that are hot. Running backs, wide receivers and tight ends that are playing consistent are the best way to replace Beckham without getting rid of your whole team. There’s no clear way to replace Beckham, but we all can relate to losing the star of your team. Hopefully to most they can overcome this, but continue to make moves for the hot hand if there’s no clear long-term replacement.

 

Featured image from sportingnews.com.

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