Fantasy Football: Langford replaces struggling McManus

Credit: Layout Manager Credit: Layout Manager

Matt Forte getting injured is the best thing that could have possibly happened to my team.

After week eight, I was basically ready to give up on all of this nonsense. Le’Veon Bell tore his MCL and was deemed unable to play for the rest of the season. My two-week losing streak brought my record to 4–4, and I couldn’t even.

But then the harps played, the angels sang, and Jeremy Langford fell into my lap. The Bears’ new number-one running back had just been sitting on my bench for eight weeks, and it was finally going to pay off. And holy ravioli did it ever. In the past two weeks, Langford has scored more points than Bell did in his last four.

In week nine, the Bears faced the Chargers, who have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.

I already felt good about the match-up, just because the Chargers suck. But my frame of reference for a good running back performance was set relative to Bell. I thought an outstanding week was 20 points, so imagine my school-girl squeals of glee when I checked my phone Tuesday morning to see that Langford raked in 22 points.

My dreamboy rushed for 72 yards on 18 carries, received three passes for 70 yards, and also scored one touchdown.

Then in week 10, I was cautious about raising my expectations too high in order to protect myself from any further disappointment at the hands of my roster. Also because I didn’t write last week, I didn’t really do any research.

But then something beautiful and amazing happened. The Bears defeated the Rams 37–13, which meant big time action for Langford. My man rushed 73 yards, received for 109, and scored two touchdowns.
So basically he made all my wildest dreams come true. I was pretty confused that he had more receiving yards than rushing because I’m pretty sure wide receivers receive and running backs run, but I’ll take it.
I know Matt Forte is listed as questionable this weekend, and that means Langford is going to have to start sharing the work. Forte won’t be back at 100 percent just yet, and Langford has more than proven his ability to lead the show. The best case scenario for me is either the Bears decide that Langford is amazing and keep giving him more opportunities to be amazing, or Forte re-injures his MCL before it heals, and he doesn’t have a chance to come back.

But realistically, I don’t expect any more 20 point games out of Langford this season. I hope that I’ll still be able to count on him for double digits, but again, fantasy has broken my heart too many times, and I’m too hurt to hope.

On the topic of players I love, let’s talk about Brandon McManus. You may recall that I’ve said some borderline creepy things about my love for McManus. I also recently became keen on the performance of a kicker being fully dependent on the offense giving him opportunities to kick. Well, as luck would have it, the Broncos are not doing that well. They ended a seven-game winning streak with a two-game losing streak, meaning they are not giving McManus as many chances to win my highly conditional love on a weekly basis.

In week nine, McManus did make three extra points and one short range field goal, so he only scored six points. Not terrible, but not what I’ve come to expect from him. Then is week 10, you may have heard that Peyton Manning threw four interceptions and got benched. Then backup quarterback Brock Osweiler helped the Broncos come back with two touchdowns. On the first one, they attempted a two-point conversion and FAILED. On the second they finally wised up and let my hugely consistent McManus kick. He succeeded, but he only scored one fantasy point.

I’m hopeful that the stupid freaking Denver Broncos will get it together and #BringBrandonBack. Get it trending.

Except I don’t want them to succeed that much this week. They’re playing the Bears and I have a large stake in that match-up. Can they tie? Is that allowed? [ed. note: Yes.]

My biggest gripe right now is that I started Pierre Garcon and Nate Washington as wide receiver and flex because my only bench options were Dexter McCluster and Dwayne Harris. Why would I start them? They aren’t very good options. Rotowire told me that McCluster is only an option in deeper PPR formats but otherwise a dangerous start. I don’t know what that first part means, but I know that a dangerous start means “do not start.” They also said something about PPR for Harris, and I’m just too confused to care. So I started my normal starters.

So of course, Washington and Pierre scored a combined four points. The team of Harris/McCluster put up 22 points.

Even though I bested Team Illegal Touching 86–64, 104–64 sounds a lot nicer coming off the tongue.