October's chilling fingers will stretch into Week 4 with Monday night's game falling on the 1st. This is the month of ghosts, goblin's and even worse, bye weeks. Yes the man with the hockey mask and the hatchet I can out run, but no one can avoid the horror of being forced to sit productive players while the owners you face are at full strength. Nevertheless, here are a couple of mid-tier position players that can help you get some points this week.
Run Play: BenJarvus Green-Ellis
So finally, in his fifth season as an NFL player, he fumbled the football. So sue him. And he only averaged a measly 2.2 yards per attempt in that game against the Redskins last weekend. So what are you going to do, bench him? No, not at all.
Some of you who drafted late in the first round and built your roster around elite WR’s instead of RB’s might have wound up with the Law Firm as your RB2. Others who drafted 2 RB’s early and got Green-Ellis in the mid rounds are contemplating using him as a flex play. Don’t panic.
Other than last week’s performance, some of which I would chalk up to the Bengals being in a shoot-out with the Skins, BGE has been pretty good. Over the first two contests, he averaged 4.25 yards per carry. And also grabbed 4 passes for 34 yards. He has one TD on the young year, but has yet to break 100 yards on the ground.
This is that week my friends. Many experts are ranking Green-Ellis much lower than I think he should be (lower teens to upper twenties). This week he faces Jacksonville. He should be able to sleepwalk through their porous D-Line in a game that could get out of hand for Jacksonville as early as the second quarter.
The Jags have allowed 5, count them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, rushing TD’s in three short games and an average of 154.3 yards per game on the turf. This is a juicy match up for a runner who is currently top ten at his position in number of attempts for the year. And someone who will be eager to erase the memory of his first career gaffe.
I don’t consider him an elite player by any stretch of the imagination. But with the current state of affairs in the guild of tailbacks in this league, you could do a lot worse. This week I look for him to go over 100 yards and score a touchdown and catch at least 2 or 3 balls for another 20. Start him with confidence.
Pass Play: Miles Austin
After a down year in 2011 and multiple hamstring injuries coupled with the anticipated (and still not yet) emergence of Dez the Conqueror, many were doubtful that Austin would get back to the level of success he has had in recent years.
Well I wouldn’t worry about Dez getting in his way if you have been basing your decision whether or not to start Miles on that. Dez still has an awful lot to prove and hasn’t established any sort of consistency in terms of chemistry with Romo. Austin, on the other hand, since his breakout season back in 2009, has almost always displayed a good report with Romo when healthy.
In the each of his first 3 games this season Miles has either scored a touchdown or eclipsed 100 receiving yards. He seems to be getting the separation from coverage, which he was not getting last year. Without a doubt the presence of Murray helps, as a legitimate threat in the running scheme that opponents have to respect.
Up to this point Austin has five less receptions, one less yard, one more touchdown and a significantly higher yards-per-reception average than Roddy White. I do not think that Miles Austin is the same caliber receiver as Roddy White, but in terms of week in week out consistency and overall production, he’s in the same conversation, at least for the time being.
Certainly this week’s match-up on Monday Night in Dallas against the Chicago Bears looks a bit daunting. He faces a team that currently ranks #6 in the league overall defending the pass. Nevertheless, I look for Garrett and company to game plan a higher percentage of Austin’s snaps in the slot where he is the most effective.
As Austin had the only receiving touchdown versus a very stingy Seattle defense a couple of weeks ago, I expect him to find a way to get just under a hundred yards and get into the end zone.