Fantasy Owners, we have reached the first quarter of the season already. Teams are starting to show there “personality.” I like to take a look at the offensive lines as we head into the next quarter-pat of the season. This is when you should start really focusing on RB’s. I know, all of the talking heads love WR’s, but in reality, WR’s are TOO inconsistent, and with cold weather games coming up real soon – pounding the rock is, and always has been the name of the game. In order to pound the rock, a team must have a SOLID offensive line and coaching staff willing to pound the rock. So below are my top five O-Lines.
1. Tennessee Titans
Starters: LT Taylor Lewan, LG Quinton Spain, C Ben Jones, RG Josh Kline, RT Jack Conklin. I know the record does not show it, but this group is VERY PHYSCIAL. From what I have seen in the first (5) games this season, they have made DeMarco Murray look like the best all-around RB in the NFL. I really like their tackles Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin – both are playing at a Pro Bowl level. Next (4) Opponents and defensive ranking vs the run – Cleveland 20th, Colts 18th, Jacksonville 18th, and San Diego 8th. So do whatever you can to get your hands on Murray and/or Mariota. My Projection for next (4) games – barring injury, solid start the next month against weaker opponents vs the run, and the offensive line is jelling.
2. Atlanta Falcons
Starters: LT Jake Matthews, LG Andy Levitre, C Alex Mack, RG Chris Chester, RT Ryan Schraeder – The only person on the starting line below par is RG Chris Chester – run blocking is fair at best, and has given up (2) sacks with many hurries. The rest of this group is the main reason for the success of Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are having big seasons. Next (4) Opponents and defense ranking vs run – Seattle 6th, San Diego 8th, Green Bay 1st, Colts 18th. Real hard schedule coming up. My Projection for next (4) games is that ATL has a very hard schedule. Try to trade Ryan, Freeman, and Coleman while value is still very high.
3. Oakland Raiders
Starters: LT Donald Penn, LG Kelechi Osemele, C Rodney Hudson, RG Gabe Jackson, RT Menelik Watson – The problem with the Raiders line, are injuries, particularly at the right tackle spot. In (4) games so far they have played (5) different players at RT. Kelechi Osemele looks to be best line man and is dominating on running blocking. Old man, Donald Penn still looks to be at the top of his game when most are retiring at his age! Raiders have (3) RB’s in top 100 of Fantasy scoring. Jalen Richard, Latavius Murray, and DeAndre Washington. – As the season moves on, I expect to see Washington become the starter, as the OAK staff raves about him! Next (4) opponents and defense ranking vs run – Kansas City 26th, Jacksonville 18th, Tampa Bay 16th, and Denver 22nd. My Projection for next (4) games are to get your hands on Carr, Richard, Murray, and/or Washington.
4. Dallas Cowboys
Starters: LT Tyron Smith, LG Ronald Leary, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, RT Doug Free – Only reason this group is not number one is due to injuries. La’El Collins, and Tyron Smith have all missed or continue to miss games so far. The last (2) weeks this group has started to become dominant, like expected when the season started. Ezekiel Elliot is the leading rusher in the NFL going into the DAL BYE week. If you have him hold onto him and snag Alfred Morris in case Zeke wears down late in the season as rookies tend to do. Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar should be available in most leagues and worth a look as the season goes on. Next (4) opponents and defensive ranking vs run – Green Bay 1st, Philadelphia 3rd, Cleveland 20th, and Steelers 5th. My Projection for next (4) games is the ‘Boys will continue to pound the rock!
5. Green Bay Packers
Starters: LT David Bakhtiari, LG Lane Taylor, C J.C. Tretter, RG T.J. Lang, RT Bryan Bulaga. The problem with this team is that they are in love with the pass – period. Strong pass blocking O-line have only allowed (17) pressures year to date. Real strength is pass blocking with the Packers. If they do run its Eddie Lacy or James Starks, both are already beat up and listed as questionable this upcoming week. Next (4) opponents and defense ranking vs run – Cowboys 11th, Bears 24th, Falcons 15th, and Colts 18th. My Projection for next (4) games is the team will continue to do what it is does – PASS!