Andy Behrens

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Andy Behrens is the editor of Roto Arcade, the Yahoo! Sports fantasy blog. Andy has been writing about fantasy sports for the past decade and playing them much longer. He's won his share of experts leagues and accuracy titles. He's also the author of three novels for young readers. He also consistently beats the Evans-Pianowski team in barroom shuffleboard, no matter who he's paired with.

  • When Thursday's game kicks off, it will have been 18 days since the St. Louis Rams allowed a point to an opponent. The Rams hammered Washington 24-0 on Sunday, and they eviscerated Oakland 52-0 the week before. Arizona, of course, is no pushover, either. The Cards defense is allowing just 18.3 points per game, the third-lowest number in the league.

    The NFL is full of surprises each week, but it would really be a shocker if this week's Thursday tilt became a shootout. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect massive contributions from any skill player on the field. Rams rookie running back Tre Mason has proven his worth in tough spots before, so he's on the approved list. But that's pretty much it. Start Tre, start the defenses, and leave everyone else alone ... well, except maybe Jared Cook. He always feels like a fantasy dice-roll, true, but Arizona has given up the most receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season (and last). Cook's matchup works, and he's coming off a two-touchdown

    Read More »from St. Louis, Arizona defenses taking the fantasy fun out of primetime
  • Report: Cleveland likely to turn to Johnny Manziel in Week 15

    Only a small number of people within the Cleveland Browns organization have a good read on Johnny Manziel's readiness to start, his practice habits, and his viability as an NFL passer. And an even smaller number of people within the organization actually have a say regarding the team's Week 15 starter.

    [Join's $2M Week 15 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 17,475 teams paid]

    But you certainly don't need to be a team or league insider to know that Sunday's quarterback, Brian Hoyer, was kind of a mess. He was brutally inaccurate against the Colts, going 14-for-31 with just 140 passing yards, zero TDs and two picks. Hoyer has thrown one touchdown pass and eight interceptions over his past four games, losing three times.

    If Cleveland won't turn to Manziel now, with the quality of the team's quarterback play at a ruinous level, then it's tough to imagine it happening this season.

    According to at least one national reporter, the Browns are in fact prepared to make a switch:

    Read More »from Report: Cleveland likely to turn to Johnny Manziel in Week 15
  • Priority Pickups: Greivis, Nikola and another push for K.J. McDaniels

    If, like me, you assembled a fantasy portfolio that left you unusually vulnerable to a DeMar DeRozan injury, then you've no doubt already scooped up this first dude...

    [Join's $2.25M Week 14 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 20,675 teams paid]

    PG/SG Greivis Vasquez, Tor (33 percent owned)

    Vasquez has started three straight for the Raps, with impressive enough results. He's averaging 16.0 points, 5.7 assists and 2.0 threes per night, with a steal in each game. At 30-plus minutes per, you'll enjoy Vasquez. His numbers may not quite reach 2012-13 levels, but he'll be plenty useful across multiple categories. DeRozan is likely down for 4-5 weeks, so Vasquez is something better than a short-range pickup. He has a pair of four-game weeks upcoming, too.

    SG/SF K.J. McDaniels, Phi (43 percent owned)

    OK, it's a little weird that McDaniels remains so widely available. We've written him up before, as has pretty much everyone else. It's tough to argue with his recent production:

    KJ's game logKJ's game log


    Read More »from Priority Pickups: Greivis, Nikola and another push for K.J. McDaniels
  • Thursday Fantasy Preview, Week 14: Bears, down

    In 2013, the Chicago Bears ranked second in the NFL in scoring, averaging 27.8 points per game. This year, in the same system with the same head coach and the same skill players and many of the same faces on the O-line, Chicago has averaged just 21.1 points per game. The team has not yet topped 28 points in any week. The Bears currently rank No.18 in the NFL in yards per play (5.3).

    [Join's $2.25M Week 14 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 20,675 teams paid]

    Chicago's starting offense is the second-most expensive unit in the league, so its performance to date has to be considered a colossal disappointment. (For comparison's sake, the cap total for Denver's starting offense is roughly $6 million lower than Chicago's.) The team's defense has been hilariously bad as well, so it's not as if only one phase is a problem. But in a salary cap league, you just can't whiff so miserably on your biggest investments. The Bears have fielded a not-quite-league-average offense at a

    Read More »from Thursday Fantasy Preview, Week 14: Bears, down
  • Start your Cowboys on Thursday night, Fantasy owners!

    If the Dallas Cowboys are any sort of serious Super Bowl contender, they'll put up 50-plus points against the Bears. Because that's what legit offenses do.

    Chicago's defense is heavily damaged at the moment, and it's a unit that struggled even when operating at full strength. The Bears allow the most standard fantasy points to opposing QBs, the second-most to tight ends and the eighth-most to wide receivers. Thursday's game could get ugly — perhaps as ugly as last year's contest at Soldier Field, a decisive win for Chicago. In this matchup, even the fringy Cowboys like Jason Witten and Terrance Williams deserve a long look.

    Read More »from Start your Cowboys on Thursday night, Fantasy owners!
  • Sunday Scene, Week 13: Johnny Manziel finally joins the fantasy party

    On a day when three different quarterbacks threw five or more touchdown passes, our headliner is a rookie reserve whose team just lost 26-10. Such is the power of Johnny Manziel.

    Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine pulled starter Brian Hoyer early in the fourth quarter on Sunday, his team trailing at Buffalo, 20-3. Hoyer had just thrown his second interception of the game and fifth in the past two weeks. Manziel's first series was crisp eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive, punctuated by this 10-yard touchdown scramble by Johnny himself. His second series was ... um ... somewhat less impressive. It featured this bit of hilarity, ruled an incomplete pass. Still, Johnny's final passing line was a perfectly respectable 5-of-8 for 63 yards, and he found Josh Gordon for his longest completion of the day.

    So now the critical question is this: Who will get the start behind center for the Browns in Week 14?

    Pettine declined to fully endorse either QB in his initial postgame comments:

    Read More »from Sunday Scene, Week 13: Johnny Manziel finally joins the fantasy party
  • A plate full of fantasy turkeys for Thanksgiving

    Beware, gamers. This year, the Thanksgiving slate is loaded with turkeys. Here are three names to avoid on Thursday ...

    Jay Cutler at Detroit – Despite a messy season in reality, Jay has actually delivered top-8 fantasy QB numbers to this point in the season. But you'd be wise to seek alternatives this week. Jay had five giveaways against the Lions last season, and Detroit's defense has been stingy to opposing quarterbacks this year, yielding the second-fewest fantasy points to the position.

    Michael Crabtree vs. Seattle – The Niners and Seahawks are likely to give us a tremendous game on Thursday, but not for fantasy purposes. Crabtree is not to be trusted. He's owned in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues, but he's a dicey start against Seattle. He's played nine career games against the Seahawks (postseason included), and he hasn't yet scored a touchdown. Anquan Boldin has been a more bankable fantasy asset to this year, and it's not close. Seattle is giving up the fewest fantasy points to

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  • Sunday Scene, Week 12: Another week, another feast for C.J. Anderson

    Based on a quick scan of C.J. Anderson's bio, you wouldn't call him an obvious candidate for fantasy stardom. He shared the rushing workload for a three-win team in his final collegiate season at Cal, then failed to dazzle at the scouting combine (4.60 speed). Two months ago, Anderson was merely another name on the depth chart for Denver — an undrafted second-year back, the handcuff to the handcuff.

    And then injuries hit the Broncos backfield. We're now three weeks into Anderson's reign as the featured runner, and no opposing defense has managed to hold him below 100 scrimmage yards. He ripped off 163 at Oakland, then 115 at St. Louis, and he shredded Miami's defense for 195 on Sunday.

    "Big fellas did a great job up front," he said, like a seasoned pro accustomed to huge rushing totals.

    Anderson is a powerful back with vision and tackle-breaking ability, tied to an ideal offense. Congrats to those who own him, because you appear to have won the 2014 waiver lottery. With Ronnie Hillman

    Read More »from Sunday Scene, Week 12: Another week, another feast for C.J. Anderson
  • Priority Pickups: Mo Williams runs the Wolves

    OK, so the last Rubio replacement discussed around here did not fill the stat sheet quite as much as we'd hoped. But there's a new Wolves point to consider this week, and he's widely available...

    [Join's $2.5M Week 12 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,840 teams paid]

    PG Mo Williams, Min (20 percent owned)

    Mo drew the start against the Knicks on Wednesday, delivering a stellar line: 14 points, 5-of-9 FGs, 2 threes, 13 dimes. Kevin Martin was scorching hot (37 points), and Williams fed him early, often and in rhythm. Check the postgame praise for Mo, from both Martin and head coach Flip Saunders:

    “Big difference,” Martin said. “I think we saw that in the Dallas game. When Mo came in and got me going. … He’s just a veteran point guard in the backcourt with you. He knows your spots. He knows what you can do well out there after playing against you so many years. I give credit the last two games to Mo.”
    Saunders concurred, using the same “big difference” phrase to describe
    Read More »from Priority Pickups: Mo Williams runs the Wolves
  • Thursday Fantasy Flier, Week 12: Let's talk Latavius Murray

    Just for the record, the official position of this blog is that you can do without any Oakland Raiders in your fantasy lineup in Week 12.

    In fact, if I were playing in a 10-team, 2-quarterback AFC West-only league, I might still look to avoid Raiders. The team ranks dead-last in the NFL in scoring (15.2 PPG), total yards (276.4 YPG), rushing offense (63.0) and yards-per-play (4.7). This is not exactly a ripe fantasy situation.

    [Join's $2.5M Week 12 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,840 teams paid]

    On Thursday, the league's least productive offense will face Kansas City's D, a unit that's allowed the second-fewest total points to opponents (17.1 PPG). KC ranks first in pass defense (201.6 YPG), and, incredibly enough, the team has not yet allowed a rushing touchdown.

    So this is not an ideal week to load up on Raiders. (The last such week was in 2002.)

    The Chiefs' defense is clearly a strong fantasy play on Thursday, and we shouldn't need to tell you that KC's ground game

    Read More »from Thursday Fantasy Flier, Week 12: Let's talk Latavius Murray


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