Robert Woods fantasy

Is Robert Woods a legit fantasy wide receiver?

The Rams’ offense has taken the entire league by storm this year. They went from the worst scoring offense to the best and haven’t looked back.

Last year under Jeff Fisher, this Rams team scored 224 points, the lowest in the NFL. Through nine games this season, the team has already scored 296 points. Led by Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, this offense has flourished. But the true story of this team is the players behind the scenes who have made some noise and helped this team.

In the last two games, Robert Woods has really stepped up with 12 receptions for 241 yards and four touchdowns. He went off for a huge 94-yard touchdown in his last game to really break the game open. In six out of the nine games this season, Woods has had at least four receptions for fifty yards. As of late, he’s starting to pick up in a big way.

Now fantasy owners are asking themselves, “Is Robert Woods a legit fantasy wide receiver?”

Upside on Robert Woods

As Jared Goff has picked up his play this season, it has affected his supporting cast in a great way. Woods has had a great season so far. He has accumulated 39 receptions for 622 yards and four touchdowns in nine games. He already has more yards and touchdowns than he did with the Bills last season.

Over the last two games, he’s scored all four of his touchdowns and has evolved into one of Goff’s top targets. The volume is there for Woods as he has received at least seven targets in four of his last five games. With this volume, he has shown his production and made the most of his opportunity. With double-digit fantasy points in his last two games, each coming with two touchdowns, Woods is trending in the right direction. 

Question Marks for Woods

Now it is true that Woods’ only four touchdowns have come in the last two weeks, which is something to consider about his fantasy production. He produces well on a PPR scale, but for standard league owners, he may only be good if he can find the end zone.

Robert Woods fantasy

Photo from http://www.trbimg.com

Woods is good for at least five fantasy points every week for the rest of the season, but if you’re looking for him to continue his hot streak, he’s going to have to find the end zone. It should also be noted that his latest game of eight receptions for 171 yards and two scores came against a pretty good Houston secondary.

 

In his next three games, Woods goes up against Minnesota, New Orleans and Arizona, three defenses that may give him problems. Even going up against these stout defenses, Woods should be given ample opportunities to continue to produce at a high level for the Rams and fantasy owners.

From here on out, Woods should be considered a solid WR2 or a flex play. However, depending on the matchup, you may need to bench him at times.

 

Feature image from USA Today Sports

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Fantasy Football Week 9 winners

Top five fantasy stars of Week 9

Week 9 of the NFL season has come and gone. As we have passed the halfway point of the season, we had some big fantasy performances this week. If you had these players (or if you got lucky) you feel pretty good about your team this week. Here are the top five fantasy stars of Week 9.

Carson Wentz, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz had a day against the Denver Broncos, throwing four touchdowns in a 51-23 blowout.

Fantasy Football Week 9 winners

Carson Wentz (Photo from grandforksherald.com)

The Broncos defense hasn’t allowed 18 or more fantasy points to any quarterback in their first seven games of the season. However, Wentz steamrolled one of the top defenses in the league.

For Wentz, it’s all about consistency, and we have seen that in his last five games. He has tossed 17 touchdowns and just three picks in the last five.

In seven of the nine games he has played, he has been a top eight quarterback. His elusiveness as a passer and a runner has made him a high-end QB1 with his consistent play.

Wentz now has a league-leading 23 touchdown passes and is continuing to have what looks like an MVP season. After a bye in Week 10, he will face the Dallas Cowboys the following week.

I expect him to have another good day with Dallas’ defense being in the lower tier against the quarterback this season.

T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts

Many of us had given up hope on Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, but he finally broke through. It looks as if there is some chemistry developing between him and his quarterback Jacoby Brissett as well.

Fantasy Football Week 9 winners

T.Y. Hilton (Photo from tvasports.ca)

Hilton has been struggling all season, with some of it being due to not having his quarterback Andrew Luck. For the first eight weeks, he only averaged 66 yards and had only one touchdown.

But he was a beast on Sunday with 175 yards and two touchdowns, with one being 45 yards and the other was a 80-yard score. His 34 points in PPR and 29 in non-PPR gives some life to fantasy owners as there seems to have been a jumpstart in the Colts offense at least throwing the ball. Hilton has a trio of long touchdowns, but other than that, he has been kept out of the end zone.

It’s encouraging to see Hilton finally have a good game, but he will continue to be a boom or bust player for the rest of the season.

Quarterback Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

The first two quarterbacks picked last season had stellar performances. Jared Goff had a similar day to Wentz as he torched the New York Giants defense.

Goff had a career day, throwing for 311 yards and four touchdowns while completing 14 of his 22 passes in a 51-17 blowout. The highest scoring offense has continued its dominance, and part of it is Goff playing well.

This is a guy that started his career with an 0-7 record as starter heading into 2017 with a 63.6 passer rating. Now he looks like the first overall pick the Rams were hoping for.

He has now scored at least 16 points five times in the last eight games, including 28 on Sunday. Goff averaged an outstanding 14.1 yards per attempt thanks to a pair of long touchdown passes, one a 52-yard strike to Robert Woods on a third and 33 and then a 67-yard deep ball to Sammy Watkins just over two minutes later. It’s just one of those feel-good stories when it comes to Goff.

Goff has gained some attention across fantasy as he was the 13th most started quarterback according to ESPN. He will continue his good play against a struggling Houston Texans defense.

Running back Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

What a season rookie Alvin Kamara is having, both as a runner and a pass catcher. Even though this is his eighth game, he had a career day in fantasy with 25 points and 31 points in PPR.

Fantasy Football Week 9 winners

Alvin Kamara (Photo from buffalonews.com)

The Saints back contributed 152 total yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kamara rushed 10 times for 68 yards and a touchdown and hauled in six of seven targets for 84 yards and another score.

The versatile rookie made his presence felt again, leading the Saints in receiving yardage while posting his best reception total since Week 4. He also posted his second straight week scoring a rushing touchdown for the first time in his career. Kamara also for the first time scored a receiving and a rushing score in the same game. The Saints seem to have found their pairing with Kamara and Mark Ingram.

He continues to be one the best pass catching backs in the league as he and rookie Christian McCaffrey are the only backs with at least three receptions in every game this season. They play the Bills next week and could have a solid day as a pass catcher.

TIght End Evan Engram, New York Giants

While the Giants struggled, Evan Engram had a solid day against the Rams. Engram had four catches for 70 yards and a score.

This may not seem like a star to most, but Engram has been lights out the last three games, scoring over 15 in three straight. He has established himself as the first target in a struggling Giant offense. He led the team in targets and tied for the most yards. Engram found the end zone in the fourth on a 10-yard pass from Eli Manning. He has posted at least 60 receiving yards in four of his last five games while reaching the end zone in each of his last three.

Engram has had a solid season even with the Giants woes on offense and should be considered a viable TE1 option. Expect Engram to have another solid outing next week against the winless San Francisco 49ers.

 

Featured image from si.com.

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Todd Gurley hot start

Can Todd Gurley keep up his hot start?

Todd Gurley had an amazing rookie campaign, rushing for 1106 yards and 10 touchdowns in only 13 games. He followed that up with a subpar sophomore year, with 885 yards and six touchdowns.

Now at the start of the 2017 season, Gurley is starting to look like his old self again with 241 yards and six total touchdowns in only three games. The question remains whether or not he can keep up his hot start.

Hot Start

Todd Gurley hot start

Courtesy of, www.univision.com

Gurley is off to the start that every fantasy owner was hoping he would have. He’s never been much of a receiving back so far in the NFL, but now that Jared Goff is improving his play, he looks to be more of a dual threat back than ever.

 

In three games to start the season, Gurley has 13 receptions for 140 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He’s only 48 yards away from matching his total from his rookie campaign. Those two receiving touchdowns are also his first receiving touchdowns that he’s ever had in the NFL. That shows his use in the red zone.

The red zone volume is there for Gurley, which is a positive sign. In three games so far, he has 12 rushes for 21 yards and all four of his touchdowns. The Rams have shown that their game plan revolves around a strong run game, and Gurley is the focal point of that run game.

Another positive sign for fantasy owners is the snap percentage that he has played so far. Gurley has played in 85 percent of the teams offensive snaps, giving him plenty of opportunity to touch the ball and succeed.

Outlook for the rest of the season

The offensive line, which was addressed in the offseason, has played a big role in the success of the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL. The Rams’ offensive line has allowed Jared Goff to have a clean pocket while opening up running lanes for Gurley. The fact that the Rams can sustain a good passing attack with a lethal run game causes terror in opposing defenses.

Now I know that the defenses that the Rams have played don’t have the greatest defensive front. Gurley and the Rams will face a couple of tough defenses when they play the Seahawks, Jaguars, Cardinals and Giants in four consecutive games. Those games will be a real test for Gurley, and we’ll really see if his season is as legit as we think it is.

Now to answer the question I started the article off with: can Todd Gurley keep up his hot start? I have been on the Jared Goff train since he was drafted by the Rams. I said that if the Rams could get their passing game going, which they are doing now with Goff and Sammy Watkins, the run game would follow.

It’s interesting what a different one year makes. With the additions of Andrew Whitworth, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Watkins and the emerging play of Goff, Gurley can and should maintain his hot start to the season.

 

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2017 NFC West division preview

2017 NFC West division preview

The NFL regular season is fast approaching. In the blink of an eye, Sep. 7 will arrive and the Chiefs and Patriots will be kicking off. In the meantime, Hagan’s Haus will be bringing you the divisional previews and predictions of how teams will finish in their respective divisions. Without further ado, here is the 2017 NFC West division preview.

4: San Fransisco 49ers

Last season: 2-14

Strength of Schedule: 20

John Lynch made a statement in the NFL Draft. He knows what he is doing and plans on building a championship defense. The picks of Soloman Thomas and Rueben Foster are prime examples. The problem is that the 49ers need lots of talent to actually be competitive. San Fransisco ranked in the bottom of every defensive category and a few young players aren’t going to turn them into a top NFL defense right away.

2017 NFC West division preview

(Photo Credit: USA Today)

The defense is going to struggle against the run. After ranking 32nd last season, the only way to go is up but again, two rookies aren’t going to take them from 32nd to the top of the mountain.

As teams run all over the 49ers, the defense will get worn out and teams will be able to pass against them as well. With a bottom third defense, it will be difficult for San Fransisco to win games.

Offensively, the 49ers will struggle because of a bad offensive line. Pro Football Focus is predicting the 49ers to have the 27th ranked line in the NFL. This will mean tough sledding for running back Carlos Hyde. Brian Hoyer has been given the reigns at quarterback but is barely an average quarterback.

Hoyer also has no real threat to throw the ball to outside of Pierre Garcon. Teams can load the box to stop the run and will not have to worry about getting burned by the pass. The predictability of the offense will make it hard for them to win games. The 49ers are clearly heading in the right direction but will not show it with wins this season.

Prediction: 2-14 (0-6), miss the playoffs

3: Arizona Cardinals

Last season: 7-8-1

Strength of Schedule: 23

Carson Palmer showed signs of decline last season at age 37. He went from 35 touchdowns down to 26. Palmer also threw more interceptions as his total increased from 11 interceptions in 2015 to 14 last season. Father Time is undefeated and this season Palmer will feel the effects even more.

2017 NFC West division preview

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The rest of the offense is pretty solid. David Johnson is one of the top three running backs in the NFL and will be the workhorse. It won’t be far-fetched to say Johnson will have 1,000 yards both on the ground and through the air.

Larry Fitzgerald is back for his 14th season to lead the Cardinals’ receiving corp. Outside of Fitzgerald, there is a lot of inconsistency with the receivers.

Arizona has had a very good defense for the last couple of seasons but there are a few unknowns this year. Losing Calais Campbell and Tony Jefferson really hurt.

There is still plenty of talent but the key pieces of Campbell and Jefferson may prove too big of losses. If they can’t replace these players the defense will regress. The Cardinals will also have a rookie linebacker, Haason Reddick, starting at inside linebacker.

Special teams were a weak link for the Cardinals last season. They must improve in all facets in order to win more games but there isn’t much to look at yet in the preseason to determine whether or not this has improved.

Facing Arizona is going to be a tough game for any opponent but for now, because of an old quarterback and restructured defense, the Cardinals are going to be a team that hovers around .500.

Prediction: 7-9 (3-3), miss the playoffs

2: Los Angeles Rams

Last season: 4-12

Strength of Schedule: 17

Adding Wade Phillips as a defensive coordinator is going to make all the difference for the Rams this season. The Rams’ defense was much better than some of their rankings due to an offense that was rather pedestrian. Los Angeles gave up the ninth fewest yards in the NFL last season at just 337 yards per game.

2017 NFL West division preview

(Photo Credit: https://px1sports.com)

Wade Phillips has had plenty of success as a defensive coordinator and most recently with the Denver Broncos. With players like Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers, Conner Barwin and Aarond Donald (still in the midst of a holdout), Phillips will be able to create massive amounts of pressure on the quarterback.

Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron are pretty solid linebackers who can fly around the field to make tackles.

Trumaine Johnson is one of the best corners in the league and safety Lamarcus Joyner is an up and coming star as well. The secondary has all the makings to round out this defense and turn it into a top five unit.

Now, everyone knows how talented this defense is but the Rams will only go as far as the offense can take them. Los Angeles ranked near the bottom of every offensive category last season. To upgrade the offense, the Rams signed Andrew Whitworth to replace Greg Robinson. This is a colossal improvement at left tackle, which will really help out Jared Goff and the running game.

Speaking of the running game, Todd Gurley is on a mission to prove that last season’s down year was just a fluke. The Rams will need to run the ball well in order to be successful because it takes pressure off of Goff.

The passing game already featured dangerous weapon Tavon Austin but there were a couple more moves made to give Goff plenty of firepower in the passing game. Los Angeles drafted Cooper Kupp, signed Robert Woods and most recently, traded for stud receiver Sammy Watkins. There is no excuse for Goff to play poorly with an improved offensive line, a workhorse running back and a receiving corp filled with speed and playmakers.

With the additions made on offense, a new defensive coordinator that can turn this defense into elite and a fairly easy schedule, the Rams will be in contention for a playoff spot this season.

Prediction: 9-7 (4-2), wildcard candidate

1: Seattle Seahawks

Last season: 10-5-1

Strength of Schedule: 25

The Seahawks have one of the easiest schedules heading into the season. They might need it with the worst rated line in the NFL. Despite having such a bad offensive line, the Seahawks made the playoffs. They were unable to progress deep into the playoffs though. The offense has to improve in order for the Seahawks to become Super Bowl contenders once again.

2017 NFC West division preview

(Photo Credit: https://wallpapersafari.com)

Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy are going to attempt to bring a great running game back to Seattle. Russell Wilson is good but the identity and key to success have been being able to run the ball. If the Seahawks do so successfully, they will be one of the most feared teams in the NFL.

Jimmy Graham is still an unstoppable red zone threat. The chemistry between Graham and Wilson has seemed to improve the more they have played together and it will lead to a big year for Graham.

The other receiving threats, Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson, provide different playmaking abilities that compliment each other well. Baldwin is a quick receiver who can make plays both vertically or by turning a short completion into a long gain. Richardson can make spectacular catches on the outside as a deep threat.

Russell Wilson is the engine to this offense and he doesn’t get enough credit. Without him, this team wouldn’t make the playoffs. He makes good decisions on when to run and rarely turns the ball over. As long as the Seahawks have a viable running game, Wilson will have another Pro-Bowl caliber season.

The heart and soul of this team is the Legion of Boom. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are back to lead this defense to a top three ranking. With these three men patrolling in the secondary, teams will earn everything they get through the air because nothing comes easy against them.

The linebackers are solid as well and are headlined by Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Up front, the Seahawks have head hunters. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were the only pair of defensive ends to make the Pro-Bowl. They get constant pressure on opposing offenses making it easier for the rest of the unit to play balls to the wall.

Due to the consistency of this defense over the past five seasons, it is safe to assume the Seahawks have a top three to five defense. Pair that with an offense that will have an improved running game and Pro-Bowl quarterback means the Seahawks will win the division and be one of the best teams in the NFL.

Prediction: 12-4 (4-2), divison champion

 

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After Slow Start, Bills Suddenly Have Clear Path Back to Playoffs

Every year in the NFL, a handful of teams are written off, dead and buried after slow starts. Quite frankly, most stay that way. This year though, there is one team that has risen from the ashes in spectacular fashion and is in prime position to end a 15+ year playoff drought.

 

The Buffalo Bills dropped their first two games in ugly fashion. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman was let go. Considering The Bills put up 31 points in a Week two loss to the Jets and that Buffalo ranked inside the top half of the league in offense in 2015, most (including myself) did not think Roman was the problem. From the outside looking in, it seemed to be defensive coordinator Rob Ryan who just happens to be the head coach’s brother.

 

Say what you will about Rex Ryan, there is no denying ever since he made the move to promote Anthony Lynn to offensive coordinator, Buffalo is a different football team. They have reeled off three straight wins including a shutout of the Patriots on the road. The Bills are firmly entrenched in second place in the AFC East. LeSean McCoy has spearheaded a ground attack that has posted 100+ yards in each game during the winning streak. This has helped dual threat quarterback Tyrod Taylor take better care of the football. It is also helped Buffalo get out to early leads in games, which makes the job of the defense much easier. Thus, that unit is getting better every week as well. Guys like Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin have stepped up nicely since top receiving threat Sammy Watkins was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury.

photo from Getty Images

photo from Getty Images

 

The biggest reason the Bills are looking good for a playoff spot is their schedule and competition. If one assumes that New England and resurgent Tom Brady are going to win the division again, the Bills are left gunning for one of the two wildcard spots. There is a massive drop-off in the AFC once you get past New England, Pittsburgh and Denver. Nine wins should be enough to secure a playoff berth. Buffalo is going to be battling it out with teams like Baltimore, Oakland, Kansas City and Cincinnati. Buffalo already has three wins as well as a total of three games left with the division rival Jets and Dolphins. Both of those teams flat out stink. There is no other way to say it. So, that should get the Bills to six wins. Throw in two additional bad teams in the 49ers and Browns, and Buffalo is up to eight wins. New England, Seattle and. Pittsburgh are tough match-ups for anyone. That leaves three “coin flip” games against the Jaguars, Raiders and Bengals. A win in any one of those three games gets them to nine.

There were legitimate questions as to whether or not Rex Ryan would make it through season in Buffalo after the first two weeks. Despite his antics and brash personality, it is becoming clearer each week that his players love playing for him and are buying what he is selling. Despite an above average tenure with the Jets, bringing playoff football back to Buffalo for the first time since the 1999 season would be the greatest achievement of his coaching career. Nothing is a given in this league. However, at this point, all he has to do to make that happen is make sure his team beats the teams that they are supposed to beat.

photo from keepclam-o-matic.co.uk

photo from keepclam-o-matic.co.uk

 

Year of the Bill?

Usually, the AFC East is won by the New England Patriots every year Tom Brady starts the season opener, but that will not happen this year. Tom Brady’s four-game suspension appeal was not upheld. He will miss the first four games of the season. The backup Quarterback for the Patriots is 24 year old Jimmy Garoppolo. And on the other side of the division, the NFL will not punish Buffalo Bills’ running back LeSean McCoy for his involvement in a brawl from February.

So who will take the AFC East crown? I think that this could be the best chance for the Bills to take the crown away from the Patriots.

John Bazemore/AP

John Bazemore/AP

The Buffalo Bills had a very good draft. They added former Clemson DE Shaq Lawson and former Alabama LB Reggie Ragland to an already stalwart defense coached by two of the greatest defensive minds in the NFL, Rex and Rob Ryan.

Another thing is their defense will be one of the tops in the league this year. Most Rex Ryan defenses are always great so a defense with his brother should be even better. And on the offense side, the Bills have one of the great backfields. They will return starting Pro Bowl QB Tyrod Taylor and Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy. Taylor has some great receivers to throw to this year. He will have a cast of receivers like, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. Also I think rookie Kolby Listenbee will do a lot for the Bills in his first year.

The Bills themselves have a pretty favorable schedule. Outside of their divisional play the Bills will play four really hard teams: at the Seattle Seahawks, home to the Arizona Cardinals, at the Cincinnati Bengals, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I think that the Buffalo Bills could definitely win two of those game. Most likely the Bengals and home to the Arizona Cardinals. The Bills will even have a bye week before they play the Arizona Cardinals, giving the Ryan Brothers time to think of a plan to stop Carson Palmer and the Cardinals defense.

Courtesy of CSNNE.com

Courtesy of CSNNE.com

Ultimately, I think that this is the only chance any team in the AFC East has to finally overthrow the Patriots. That is, until Brady retires. And I think the Bills have the best chance to do so. In the Patriots first four games, they will have to play at the Arizona Cardinals, and will be home to the Miami Dolphins, the Houston Texans, and the Buffalo Bills.

The other teams in the division all have some kind of trouble coming into this season. The Dolphins still have Ryan Tannehill, so they are limited in how far they can go. Tannehill is a good young quarterback, but I just don’t think he has that killer instance. The New York Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick have not come to agreement on a contract yet and it’s the middle of July. This maybe the first time ever that a Rex Ryan team is the most stable team in a division.

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