TUESDAY’S NFL NEWS NUGGETS
1. Jay Cutler hurt, finally setting up a chalk D/ST play
It’s been a struggle for me with D/ST early in the season. Week 1 was a little tough but ended up fine with the Jets, Broncos and Seahawks all hitting. Week 2 was a disaster as I had Ravens, Titans and Dolphins in most spots. We finally have a layup this week as Jay Cutler (hamstring) will reportedly miss two weeks. That means it’ll be Jimmy Clausen going to Seattle Sunday to face a desperate 0-2 Seahawks team. Although this Kam Chancellor-less unit is a shell of themselves, this is an A+ spot even at $3400 – the most expensive defense in Week 3.
2. Carlos Hyde’s usage encouraging going forward
One of the reasons I thought Carlos Hyde was a GPP Fade in Week 2 was because he isn’t really a passing-down back. I was proved wrong, as Hyde ran a solid 17 pass routes on his injury-shortened 44 snaps against the Steelers. He set a career-high with four catches and would have likely had at least seven if he hadn’t left to get checked for a concussion (he was cleared, but didn’t get back in the game). If Reggie Bush’s calf injury keeps him out again in Week 3, Hyde will be in play at $5400 despite a tough matchup at Arizona.
3. Devonta Freeman’s big chance coming Sunday
Tevin Coleman sustained a fractured rib midway through the second quarter against the Giants and will miss a couple weeks. The new starter is Devonta Freeman, who won’t be threatened by new backup and sub-average talent Terron Ward. We can safely pencil Freeman in for 15-18 touches on Sunday, but there are a few problems here. First, Freeman’s poor athleticism has shown up in the NFL as he’s averaged just 3.32 YPC in his career. Second, I’ve had a conversation with myself about attacking this Dallas defense that both overachieves and dominates pace. And finally, Freeman costs $4600 – he’s not a min-priced volume RB like James Starks would be if Eddie Lacy (ankle) sits.
4. Ameer Abdullah’s concerning usage
I thought Ameer Abdullah was a lock for 10-13 touches in Week 2. Against a Vikings defense that bleeds points against the run and at $4500, that was more than enough. But it turned out Abdullah only got seven touches despite 30 snaps – what happened? Well, the culprit wasn’t broken down Joique Bell (19 snaps, six touches). It was Theo Riddick (34 snaps), who stole all the no-huddle and comeback-mode reps. That’s a concern for Abdullah’s usage because Bell may still get goal-line work and Riddick is the passing back. AA will be a hard sell in cash games until this changes.