— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) October 30, 2013
This Halloween weekend you may be haunted by the ghosts of Larry Fitzgerald, Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Justin Blackmon, Victor Cruz, and Frank Gore because they will be missing from your fantasy lineup. For the second consecutive week, six teams get a bye while fantasy owners are left bobbing for starters. Things could get ghoulish if you’re forced to swap a full-sized Mr. Goodbar for some candy corn. Luckily for you, I’ve scouted a few houses in the neighborhood and can let you know what to expect.
At Jordan Reed’s house they are giving out Fun Dip. The rookie tight end from Florida is sweet, and Redskins quarterback RGIII has figured out that he can keep going back to him. In the past two weeks, Reed has collected 17 passes for 224 yards and one score, and this week Washington faces the No. 22 ranked passing defense for San Diego. If by some Halloween miracle Reed is still on your waiver wire, snatch him up like a bowl of candy left unguarded on the porch.
They are handing out boxes of Atomic Fireballs at Marvin Jones’ residence because this guy is on fire. Not only did the Bengals receiver have 122 yards and 4 touchdowns last week, he’s had a touchdown in 4 of the past 6 weeks. The Bengals face a tough Miami defense on All Hallows Eve but Jones has seen his targets increase as he’s gained the trust of quarterback Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati coaching staff. If the Dolphins focus on stopping Greene, Jones could go nuclear for a second week in a row.
Ryan Mathews is satisfying those who visit his house with Snickers bars. The man is running hungry, and lately he’s just not himself. He’s averaged 106 yards on around 21 carries in each of the last two games and scored for the first time last week. This week, the Chargers face the 27th ranked rush defense of the Washington Redskins. Mathews has been a bust and a cautionary tale so far in his career, but it seems like those who have spent the past 3 years waiting in the pumpkin patch might finally get to catch a glimpse of the Great Pumpkin.
On the other side of the street, Darren Sproles is handing out toothpaste. While it may come in handy this week, it’s not exactly fun. He’s scored in only one game this year, and he’s averaging about 5 catches for 50 yards and 4 rushes for 17 yards per game. Last week against the Bills, he put up zero total yards. Bupkis. You may not have a choice but to start Sproles against the Jets this week, but chances are he won’t be providing much more than protection against the Cavity Creeps.
Steven Jackson is back from injury in time to put a few pennies in your pillow case if you grace his front door. We should have known he had no candy in the house when he missed 6 weeks with a quad/hamstring injury. Last week against the Cardinals, Jackson rushed 11 times for 6 yards and caught 3 passes for 7 yards. This week he gets a stingy Panthers defense that ranks first in the league in rushing defense. His numbers won’t add up to much for your fantasy team.
The lights are out at Vincent Jackson’s house, and no one is answering the door. This week Tampa Bay travels to Seattle, and Jackson will face a monster in Richard Sherman in the haunted house that is CenturyLink Field. The twelfth man can spook the bravest of veteran players, so Buccaneers rookies Mike Glennon and Mike James are unlikely to offer much help. Putting Jackson into your lineup this week is to risk a fantasy egging.