Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Quarterbacks

Good Plays
Phillip Rivers vs Cleveland Browns: A win for the Chargers would make them contenders to win the AFC West. Not to mention their defence is highly motivated to make up for blowing a 24-point lead last Monday to the Broncos. Don’t jump off the bandwagon, Rivers will lead the Chargers to a victory in this game.
Andrew Luck vs Tennessee Titans: Who needs Luck when you have Andrew? He will put up big numbers against a weak pass defence in this weekend’s match up so deploy him with confidence. If you drafted Luck as your QB 2 and have someone like Vick or Newton as your starter, let them ride pine and go with Luck.

Risky Play
Cam Newton vs Chicago Bears: The Bears defence has allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. They have only allowed 10 combined points in their last 2 games so it’s hard to expect Newton to do much of anything. Calvin Johnson is easily the best receiver in football and last week the Bears held him to only 34 yards. Look elsewhere this week if you can.

Bad Plays
Alex Smith vs Arizona Cardinals: Just because he’s facing a beatable team doesn’t make him a viable fantasy option. He keeps putting up bad numbers so you should ensure he continues to ride pine. I’d go with a waiver wire pick up like Ryan Tannehill (Who’s up against the Chargers weak pass defence) before considering Smith.
Matt Stafford vs Seattle Seahawks: If there’s one thing Seattle’s good at, it’s stopping the pass. Plus if you look at Stafford’s numbers and his ailing receiving corps, starting him really doesn’t make sense at this point. Bench him until he has a better match up.

 

Running Backs

Good Plays
Willis McGahee vs New Orleans Saints: The Broncos are up against the struggling Saints who can’t seem to get it together on defence. Dress McGahee to kick them while they’re down.
Reggie Bush vs New York Jets: Against a division rival in the Jets who are averaging a rushing touchdown against in every game this year, Bush is a must play in week 8.

Risky Play
Trent Richardson vs San Diego Chargers: He was limited in practice but expected to play Sunday against the Chargers. Problem is the Chargers have an air tight run defence that’s allowed only 406 rushing yard this season. Total. Risk outweighs the rewards for Richardson this week.

Bad Plays
Shonn Green vs Miami Dolphins: Pitting him against the Miami run defence is a mismatch for the ages. The Dolphins have only allowed 2 rushing touchdowns this season and the odds are stacked against Greene getting one.
LaRod Stephens-Howling vs San Francisco 49ers: Any running back that plays the top defensive unit in football is a risky play. Stephens-Howling is not very good to begin with. So dressing him against the 49ers who’ve only permitted a single rushing touchdown in 2012 is a fail of historic proportions.

Wide Receivers

Good Plays
Josh Gordon vs San Diego Chargers: The Chargers defence has allowed 11 receiving touchdowns against and Gordon has 240 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns in the last three weeks. Dress him if you’ve got him.
Eric Decker/Demaryius Thomas vs New Orleans Saints: It’s almost a certainty that they will rack up big numbers against a pass defence that’s permitted 82 catches for 1,300 yards. That’s 15.85 yards per catch on average! If you have Bronco receivers in your line up, get them dressed this week.

Risky Play
Larry Fitzgerald vs San Francisco 49ers:  After only grabbing 29 receiving yards against the Vikings last week it’s easy to assume that Fitzgerald will respond with a huge effort this week. The 49ers have only allowed 6 passing touchdowns all year and  allow wide receivers the 2nd least fantasy points per game at 15.80. Could be another quiet week for Fitzgerald.

Bad Plays
Steve Smith vs Chicago Bears: 2012 hasn’t been good to Steve Smith. He’s yet to record a single touchdown and the Bears defence is peaking right now so it would be wise to bench him this week and look elsewhere in your roster this week. You can deploy him again next week when he faces the Redskins.
Titus Young vs Seattle Seahawks: If you’re one of the owners that snatched him up when Nate Burleson was declared out of the year. He will be a good play later on, but with his knee injury and a bad match up, wait until next week when the Lions play the Jaguars to dress him.

Tight Ends

Good Plays
Martellus Bennett vs Dallas Cowboys: This one is really a gut feeling. Bennett is up against his old team and the tight end he played behind when he was a Cowboy, Jason Witten. These two tight ends will be the match up to watch in Sunday’s game and I expect Bennett to put up big numbers.
Heath Miller vs Washington Redskins: If there’s one thing Miller does, it’s catch touchdowns. He’s got 5 on the year and the Redskins defence has already allowed 5 passing touchdowns to tight ends this season. All sign point to him having a big game.

Risky Play
Brent Celek vs Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons have only let opposing tight ends amass 3 touches in the red zone in all of 2012. Celek will be lucky to even match the average 7.73 fantasy points the Falcons allow to opposing tight ends on Sunday.

Bad Plays
Bandon Pettigrew vs Seattle Seahawks: For reasons different that Titus Young, you should bench Pettigrew. His struggles as of late make him too risky to be a viable option. He hasn’t recorded more than 40 receiving yards since week 4 and only has 12 touchdown this year. I would suggest benching him until he turns his game around to avoid the stress.
Greg Olsen vs Chicago Bears: for the same seasons as Steve Smith (see above), keep Olsen on your bench this week. Mid-range tight ends are a dime a dozen anyways. Look elsewhere this week if you have the option.

Defence/Special Teams

Good Plays
Seattle Seahawks vs Detroit Lions: Whenever a defence like Seattle’s is up against a struggling quarterback like Matt Stafford, owners should be licking their chops. The Lions have allowed an average of 12.40 points for the opposing teams defence/special teams. Only the Kansas City Chiefs have allowed more.
New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo has been sacked 9 times, thrown 9 picks and the Cowboys are 1 of 7 teams that allow more than 10 fantasy points to their opponent. Plus the Giants are out to avenge their week 1 loss to the Cowboys.

Risky Play
Denver Broncos vs New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees and his receivers have come to life as of late and that spells trouble for the Broncos. This Sunday night game looks to be a shootout so try to dressing the Broncos could result in them winning a game 38-35 that will only earn owners 2-3 points.

Bad Plays
Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers: The new tandem of William Powell and LaRod Stephens-Howling is not even going to dent the 49ers run defence so all their efforts will go to slowing down Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts. This is going to be a massacre so owners of the Cardinals defence should look elsewhere.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons: Even the ground assault for the 6-0 Falcons has started to click so the Eagles will have their hands full. The Falcons weapons like Michael Turner, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez have made sure that the opposing defence/special teams only earn an average of 4.83 points. Not only should you not dress the eagles against this offence, you shouldn’t dress ANYONE against them.

Kickers

Good Plays
Dan Baily vs NY Giants: Inter-division football is anything but predictable. One this you know that will happen in this game is a lot of punting and field goals. Get either one of the kickers in there and you should see a significant return.
Matt Bryant vs Philadelphia Eagles: This is going to be one of the closer games this week so expect a ton of field goals on both sides. Bryant is only owned in 58% of leagues so snatch him off the wire if he’s out there.

Risky Play
Mason Crosby vs Jacksonville Jaguars: Last week was a flash in the pan and this week could see Crosby drop back to the 5 points he was averaging per week in the previous 6 weeks. If he doesn’t out up a lot, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Bad Plays
Phil Dawson vs the San Diego Chargers: Nobody has allowed less points to kickers than the Chargers. 4 points if pretty much a best case scenario here so drop and replace Dawson for this week if he’s your kicker.
Kai Forbath vs Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers secondary may be banged up but they still accomplish their main objective often enough to bench Forbath. They don’t like to let their opponents into scoring position. Forbath is worth keeping if you’re in a league with a bench of 6 or more players. If you have a small bench, drop him and add someone better this week.

Week 8 “All Waiver Line Up”

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

QB – Brandon Weeden – Cleveland Browns
The rookie QB had a turnover-free 264 yard performance with 2 touchdown passes to his credit in the Browns 17-13 loss to the Colts. Weeden’s getting better and is officially good enough to be a bye week plug in.
RB 1 – Rashad Jennings – Jacksonville Jaguars
Maurice Jones-Drew’s ankle injury opened the door for Jennings to become the lead back in Jacksonville. He’s owned in only 13% of leagues as I type this…
RB 2 – LaRod Stephens-Howling – Arizona Cardinals
Now that emerged as the Cardinals top RB, fantasy owners should be going after Stephens-Howling because he’s the guy getting all the red zone touches and most of the work in Arizona.
WR 1 – Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns
What would you sat if I told you there was a receiver that amassed 240 receiving yards and caught 4 touchdowns in the last three weeks that was only owned in 36% of leagues? Well there is one. His name is Josh Gordon. Go get him.
WR 2 – Santana Moss – Washington Redskins
Injuries to WR-Pierre Garçon and TE-Fred Davis have paved the way for Santana Moss to get more looks than usual and he’s making the most of it. He grabbed 2 scores and 67 receiving yards on Sunday and should continue to produce.
WR 3 – Brandon LaFell – Carolina Panthers
LaFell got a season-high 8 targets from Cam Newton and converted them into 4 catches for 53 yards and a touchdown against a tough Dallas Cowboys defence. Add him in case this production continues.
TE – Brandon Myers – Oakland Raiders
He was targeted 10 times on Sunday and 17 times in the last 2 weeks. There’s an obvious chemistry developing between him and Carson Palmer. Myers is now a solid bye week replacement for your TE bye week and a spot starter against certain teams.
K – Kai Forbath – Washington Redskins
The new face in Washington has racked up 7 PAT’s and 4 Field Goals (1 from 50+ yards) in his first 2 games as a Redskin. He’s a solid option at kicker so nab him if you need a switch.
Defence – San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are weak against the pass but stingy at the end of the day. Their 125 points against is the second lowest in the NFL and they’re up against the low scoring Cleveland Browns this week. If you’ve got the Houston or Baltimore defence, San Diego would make a good bye week replacement.

Week 7: The Good, the Bad and the Risky

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

With some big names sitting out this week because of bye weeks a lot of owners have some serious decisions to make before they finalize their week 7 line up. There’s all kinds of great match ups to get those waiver wire pick ups into your line up this week.

Quarterbacks

Good Plays
Eli Manning: the Giants are up against the Washington Redskins who have allowed a league worst 328.3 passing yards against per game so expect at least that much from Eli.
Josh Freeman: Fresh off of his 328 yard/3 TD performance last week, Freeman owners should feel great about deploying him against a vulnerable New Orleans Saints defence.

Risky Play
Christian Ponder: the Cardinals defence has only allowed multiple passing touchdowns in 1 of their 6 games. This could be a low scoring game with emphasis on Adrian Peterson.

Bad Plays
Matt Stafford: this little fun fact makes it a bad idea to start Stafford: the Bears defence has scored more touchdowns (5) than they’ve allowed through the air (4).
Joe Flacco: It’s obvious by now, Flacco sucks on the road and the Houston Texans are not about to break that trend coming off of  their blow out loss to Green Bay.

Running Backs

Good Plays
Chris Johnson: this should be the week CJ2K goes from an “iffy start” to a no question play every week. The Bills have allowed a league high 9 rushing touchdowns and Johnson should get at least one this week.
Doug Martin: his growing roll in the passing attack makes him a must-start this week against the paper thin New Orleans defence. He should get to 100+ total yards from scrimmage with the serious possibility of a TD.

Risky Play
Frank Gore: the Seahawks defence has permitted only 9.73 fantasy points to opposing running backs. It’s impossible to bench Gore, but he might suck this week.

Bad Plays
Shonn Greene: he rushed for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns last week but let’s be clear, he’s not that good. Not even close. If you start him this week, you’ll be lucky to get 50 yards out of him.
Fred Jackson: the running back committee in Buffalo looks to be heading in favour of CJ Spiller. Fred Jackson could take a back seat as early as this week.

Wide Receivers

Good Plays
Domenik Hixon: the Washington defence has allowed opposing wide receivers a league worst 34.25 fantasy points per game. With Hakeem Nicks just returning from his injury, Hixon and Cruz should get the bigger pieces of that pie.
Brandon Gibson: he’s really stepped up and become Sam Bradford’s top target in the absence of Danny Amendola. The Rams will likely be losing to the Packers this Sunday so expect Bradford to be airing it out a ton.

Risky Play
Michael Crabtree: not only has he been struggling, so has his quarterback. Consider looking elsewhere this week because struggling wide receivers don’t usually find their game against the Seahawks elite secondary.

Bad Plays
Steve Smith: just like Crabtree, Smith has been sucking as of late. And he has to deal with the stingy Cowboys this weekend and it’s not likely to work out.
Nate Burleson: if he caught more than 3 passes this weekend I’d be shocked and possibly appalled. A touchdown is out of the question for him against Chicago so leave him on your bench and wait until he has a better match up.

Tight Ends

Good Plays
Martellus Bennett: for the same reasons as Eli Manning and Domenik Hixon, start Bennett and look for him to have a bounce back week.
Jermaine Gresham: the Bengals beating the Steelers could be one of this weekend’s upsets. Gresham will likely grab 4 or 5 catches and with all his red zone looks, one of the grabs might be on the fancy grass.

Risky Play
Greg Olsen: all his stats make him a viable option to start on a weekly basis. But the declining stats of Cam Newton make him a risky start. So deploy him with caution or look elsewhere for now.

Bad Plays
Jeremichael Finley: if he’s even still on your roster, it may be time to accept the fact that you wasted your 5th or 6th round pick and drop him. He’s terrible and should never be started. Ever. Ever.
Brandon Pettigrew: If I was a betting man (which I am), I’d put money on him not even coming close to a touchdown. Anything more than 40 yards receiving would surprise me this week with the Bears pass rush in full effect.

Defence/Special Teams

Good Plays
Chicago Bears: they should be able to allow minimal points and get  3+ sacks against the Lions on Monday.
Minnesota Vikings: the Cardinals paper thin front line will allow their front line to pile up sacks and potentially force a fumble or two.  The “Purple People Eaters” look to be the best start of the week.

Risky Play
Baltimore Ravens: with all their injuries it’s hard to say how things will pan out for the Ravens. Plus their run defence has been bad all year and Arian Foster’s coming into town.

Bad Plays
New York Giants: the Giants will likely win their game against the Redskins but this game could turn into a shootout. The G-Men will allow too many points to make them a viable option this week.
New York Jets: playing against the Patriots means one thing, passing touchdowns care of Mr. Brady. Not to mention that Brady is seldom sacked and not likely to throw a bunch of picks. It’s hard to see where the jets defence point would come from this week.

Kickers

Good Play
Rob Bironas: he’s always been reliable and the game against the Bills should be a close one. And close usually translates into field goals.

Risky Play
Greg Zurlein: he looked human for the first time all year last weekend, missing consecutive kicks. Not sure if that was just bad luck, or his previous kicks were good luck. He’s a risky start this week for me.

Bad Play
Mason Crosby: he was over-hyped in the pre-season and it’s showing now. Plus the Rams defence has allowed the 7th fewest points to opposing kickers all year. He’s droppable at this point and should not be started under any circumstance.

Week 7 “All Waiver Line Up”

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Week 6 was absolute pandemonium around the NFL and all sorts of new fantasy options emerged. The Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was certainly one of the surprises. He threw for 338 yards and three 3 touchdowns with no interceptions and posted an amazing 133.7 QB rating in the afternoon upset of the Patriots. Add him if he has a decent match up on your starter’s bye week.

Looks like it’s out with the new and in with the old in Dallas. DeMarco Murray went down late in the first half of the game and was replaced with Felix Jones who’s been with the Cowboys since 2008. “Felix the Cat” played solid football and rushed for 92 yards and a score. The details of Murray’s injury are unclear at this point so add Jones right now because he’ll carry the load if Murray misses and time. Another running back worth adding is Daryl Richardson of the  St. Louis Rams. He’s worked his way into a full time-share with Steven Jackson and continues to improve every week. The reason to add him now is that Jackson recently re-negotiated his contract with the Rams to let him test free agency after this year. Knowing he may leave, it’s likely that Richardson can take even more of Jackson’s touches as the year goes on.

There are all sorts of dynamite receivers up for grabs this week. The first I would suggest adding is Denarius Moore from the Oakland Raiders. With the continuous lack of production from Darrius Heyward-Bey,  Moore appears to be Carson Palmer’s #1 target. On a side note, I think Carson Palmer may be one of the most underrated players in all of football. He’s on pace to throw over 4,000 yards this season and a decent chunk of those will go to Moore so grab him while he’s out there. While you’re at it, grab Josh Gordon out of Cleveland Browns. Normally I have a moral dilemma that prevents me from adding players from awful teams. However, Gordon is so good that he’s an exception to the rule. He’s made huge plays in back to back weeks against decent teams and that makes him worth a grab. He’s a guy I would suggest dressing as a WR3 or a flex starter if your starters are on bye weeks that also has potential to become a WR2. The final receiver to look at this week is Michael Jenkins out of Minnesota. He’s seeing additional targets with the injury to Jerome Simpson and making the most of the opportunity. He just grabbed his first touchdown of the season on Sunday and is only owned in less than 1% of leagues. In the red zone, all the coverage will continue to be on Harvin and Rudolph and my gut tells me that Jerome Simpson will get more and more red zone looks as the season goes on.

The times they are a changin’ in Green Bay, especially for tight ends. Aaron Rodgers threw for 338 yards and completed 6 touchdown passes on Sunday night. Interestingly enough, 74 of those yards and 1 of the touchdowns went to his tight ends. Even though the struggling Jeremichael Finley is the #1 TE on their depth chart as I type this, he was held to only 12 yards and it was actually Tom Crabtree that grabbed 62 yards and the TD. To make things more interesting for Crabtree, Jeremichael Finley is due a $4.45 Million bonus in March (That the team has no interest in paying him) and he is expected to be jettisoned by the Packers. That would make Crabtree the #1 TE on the Packers roster. Finley was drafted around 70th overall so he’s among the biggest upsets of the year. That opens the door for Crabtree to step into his role and give owners a low risk/high reward add.

If you want a reliable kicker, look no farther than Tennessee Titan Rob Bironas. He’s only owned in 10% of leagues and will be scoring more now that Kenny Britt and CJ2K have come back to life. He starts things off with a great match up against the Bills this week. Go get em’.

Not sure why this is, but the NY Giants defence is only owned in 40% of leagues as of this morning. Eli Manning and his elite receivers are now paired with a rejuvenated ground attack are facing their division rival Redskins at home and should out up a ton of points. The Giants just shut down Frank Gore almost entirely so don’t expect RG3 to catch them napping and rush in any touchdowns this week. Long story short, add the Giants defence and deploy them this week with confidence.

QB – Russell Wilson
RB 1 – Daryl Richardson
RB 2 – Felix Jones
WR 1 – Denarius Moore
WR 2 –  Josh Gordon
WR 3 – Michael Jenkins
TE – Tom Crabtree
K – Rob Bironas
Def – NY Giants

 

Monday Morning Blitz

Monday, October 15th, 2012

The Winners Circle

Tennessee Titans: They looked like a completely different team on Thursday night. Kenny Britt and CJ2K are back to being players that should be deployed with confidence every week. Nobody else on the Titans roster is even worth a look at this point.

Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers took over the world and silenced all the sceptics with the best performance of 2012 by a quarterback. He threw for 338 yards and 6 touchdowns with no interceptions and maintained a solid 133.8 QB rating. Jordy nelson also had a breakout game with 3 receiving TD’s and 121 yards.

Atlanta Falcons: Narrowly escaping a monumental upset against Oakland showed the Falcons have serious weaknesses on the ground. Their inability to run the football  enhances the fantasy value of Matt Ryan and his top receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. Third receiver Harry Douglas has some sleeper potential as well.

Baltimore Ravens: Ray Rice led the way in the Ravens narrow 31-29 defeat of the Cowboys with 2 rushing touchdowns. The Ravens’ defence/special teams made up for their poor defensive showing with a record tying 108-yard kick return by Jacoby Jones. Watch for injury reports to their defence this week though.

Detroit Lions: Matt Stafford was looking like his old self with a 300+ yard performance that led his team to a 26-23 OT win over the Eagles on the road. The Lions still lack a rushing attack and Megatron still only has a single touchdown this year. Damn that cover curse!

Seattle Seahawks: Rookie QB Russell Wilson threw 3 touchdowns and no picks to upset the Patriots 24-23 in the final minutes. If you can free up space, add Russell Wilson and consider his receiver Doug Baldwin because they showed some great chemistry.

Cleveland Browns: As impressive as their win against the Bengals was, the only person on the Browns worth dressing is rookie receiver Josh Gordon. He had a great 71-yard touchdown catch and finished with 99 receiving yards on 3 catches. If he’s available in your league, add him right away.

Miami Dolphins: Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill gave his team a chance to win by throwing two touchdown passes and no interceptions. The bad sign was the Dolphins were held to only 19 net rushing yards…

New York Jets: The fantasy surprise of the week award goes to Shonn Greene who rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns. And no, that was not a typo. Not a typical outing for Greene so it makes sense to sell him high if you can.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Most of the offence in the 38-10 beat down of KC came from receivers Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson who were responsible for 3 touchdowns and 179 receiving yards. Mike Williams should be worth a look on the waiver wire this week.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills 19-16 OT victory over the Cardinals was decided by running Backs CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. The tandem combined for 141 rushing yards and both ran in a score. Their time-share is back in full-effect.

New York Giants: The Giants defence had their best showing of the year with 3 interceptions and 6 sacks against Alex Smith and the 49ers. After 2 low scoring weeks the Giants defence/special teams got dropped in some leagues. If anyone in your pool made that mistake, get a waiver claim in there.

Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III rushed for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns and only threw for 182 yards and a single touchdown. Alfred Morris also showed why he won the battle for the backfield by rushing for 47 yards and a score.

Losers of Note

Houston Texans: Their defence looked terrible outside of J.J. Watt but should still be considered an elite option on a weekly basis. Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t have been stopped by anyone in the world last night.

New England Patriots: In a game where neither team got their ground game rolling, Tom Brady’s 395 passing yards were marred by 2 interceptions that led to the Patriots losing 24-23.

San Francisco 49ers: In a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game the Niners came out flat. They couldn’t get their running game rolling at all and Alex Smith got picked off 3 times.

Bye Weeks: Chicago, Carolina, Jacksonville, New Orleans

Monday Night Football Preview

Peyton Manning vs Philip Rivers: Peyton Manning has been interception free in 4 of his 5 starts this season and Rivers has thrown 8 TD’ with 5 interceptions. The edge in this fantasy shootout goes to the veteran Manning.
Willis McGahee vs Ryan Matthews: The Chargers have only allowed 2 rushing touchdown this year so don’t expect a ton from McGahee. Matthew may be a single fumble away from a time-share with Jackie Battle, but I expect him to repeat his big performance from last week.
Robert Meachum/Malcom Floyd vs  Demaryius Thomas/Eric Decker: The Chargers have been so generous as to award their opposing wide receivers 26.18 points a game in standard leagues. Robert Meachum’s performance last week was a flash in the pan and won’t be repeated.
Jacob Tamme vs Antonio Gates: Until I see Antonio Gates do anything to be fantasy relevant I will side with his opposition. Gates has amassed all of 143 yards with no touchdowns in 5 games. Tamme should put up a solid game with Decker and Thomas getting all the defensive coverage.

BOLD PREDICTION: Broncos take this one 31-27.

The Good, the Bad and the Risky

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Navigating the Week 6 Minefield is going to be tough. There are all sorts of close games like the Giants vs 49ers and the Packers vs the Texans that contain a ton of superstars playing against one another. So we’ll go through “the good, the bad and the risky” and hopefully it will clarify any decisions you have to make regarding your starting line up.

Quarterback  Conundrums

Good plays

Kevin Kolb:
His match up against a generous Bill defence at home is too good an opportunity to pass up. I’d start him over guys like Vick, Rivers, Cutler and even Newton at this point.

Christian Ponder: Ponder is up against the Redskins pass defence that’s been generous to say the least. Expect him to be close to 300 passing yards with a pair of touchdown passes. Maybe even a sneaky rushing TD like he had against the 49ers in week 3. How can the Redskins no put extra coverage on Adrian Peterson?

Risky Play

Eli Manning: Although the Giants have one of the stronger offenses in the NFL, Eli has only thrown 3 touchdown passes in his last 2 road games against the Panthers and Eagles. He could put up his lowest numbers of the year on the road against the leagues best defence. For the record, I’m starting him ahead of Kolb who’s on my bench. But I’m damn nervous about it.

Bad Plays

Tony Romo + Joe Flacco: This game is going to a ground assault because it involves two of the best deep threat defence systems in the NFL. Plus Romo’s numbers warrant him riding pine. At least until he starts throwing to people with the right colour jersey on.

Running Back head Scratchers

Good Plays

DeMarco Murray: Although he’s been inconsistent from week to week, expect this to be one of the strong outings for Murray. Too many owners hesitate to play running backs against the Ravens defence. Just Remember, Ed Reed will be 10-15 yards BEHIND the line of scrimmage. Start Murray with confidence as your RB 1 this week.
Doug Martin: With LeGarrette Blount breathing down his neck for touches, this is Martin’s week to play for his job. Expect him to exceed a hundred yards and add maybe a rushing touchdown this week.

Risky Plays

Steven Ridley: he remains the number one runner for the Patriots, but two things make me nervous here. One being that Bill Belichick loves to pass in close games and the Seahawks don’t give anything away easy. The second being his fumble last week. Ridley is one more fumble away from a timeshare with Danny Woodhead and Brandon Bolden. If it happens early, Ridley could be a disaster this week.
Fred Davis: The Cardinals defence does seem to be coming back to Earth a little bit, but they are still really efficient against the run. Davis could put up yards, but touchdowns seem unlikely for him this week.

Bad Plays

Alex Green + James Starks: The Packers original starting running back Cedric Benson may be injured, but starting one of these two is a bad idea. You can’t expect the Packers to be runaway leaders at any point this week against the undefeated Texans, so the limited touches these newcomers will get, will be up against a serious defence.
Steven Jackson: Long story short, Jackson is up against the top run defence in the NFL. He will not do well. Instead of hoping for a miracle, don’t start him. Don’t even consider starting him. Just forget all about Steven Jackson until week 11 when he faces the Jets.

Wide Receiver Worries

Good Plays

Andrew Hawkins: With the return of the Browns cornerback Joe Haden you can expect A.J. Green to be weel covered to say the least. Hawkins should see xpanded opportunity this week. So… start em’.
Andre Roberts: The little pass defence the Bills posess is going to be hovering around everything that is Larry Fitzgerald. My guess is that Roberts will add to his 4 receiving touchdowns this week. And by guess I mean if he doesn’t catch a TD I will be shocked.

Risky Plays

Hakeem Nicks: If the superstar does in fact come back this week it is unclear how many snaps he’ll see. Not to mention how many looks he would even get while on the field. Save him for week 7 if you’ve got him.
Wes Welker + Brandon Lloyd: We all know how Tom Brady likes to spread the ball around.  This week can be no different. If Aaron Hernandez plays there will be 4 fantasy receiver targets (Gronkowski, Hernandez, Welker and Lloyd). They can’t ALL put up big numbers because Seattle has a solid pass defence. My money’s says Lloyd sees a serious decline in fantasy production from here on out.

Bad Plays

Torrey Smith + Anquan Bolden: Their match up against the lowly Cowboys looks great on a Pro Line ticket. In fantasy football however, the Ravens receivers are matched up against a solid secondary that seldom give up points to opposing wide receivers. Just remember I told you that if you start one of these guys.
Ben Watson: A ton of owners added him this week because of his amazing performance in against the Giants. He will be a good receiver, but he is still an unproven commodity in the NFL. He beat a MLB in a foot race and scored a nice TD. Remember that if you know about his skill set, so do the St. Louis rams.

Troublesome Tight Ends

Good Play

Kyle Rudolph: I don’t like to do this often but I am going to make a BOLD PREDICTION here. I see Rusolph catching for at least 70 yards and havind a TD reception included in there. If you have Rudolph, start him and expect a huge week against the struggling Redskins defence.

Risky Play

Dennis Pitta: If you own Pitta, you remember his doughnot performance (0 catches for 0 points) at home against the Cleveland Browns in week 4. Last week Pitta caught 3 of the 4 passes thrown his way for 22 yards. With Cowboys Defensive Ends like Anthony Spencer and Demarcus Ware performing as consistently and effectively as they are, Pitta could be in for a very long Sunday. Deploy him with caution, or look elsewhere.

Bad Play

Martellus Bennett: The Giants fantasy owners should not be expecting a big week from Eli and his receiving crew because they’re on the road against one of the most feared defences. Bennett started the year strong with a touchdown reception three weeks in a row. Week 4 he caught 1 ball for 2 yards and he followed that up by getting 30 yards in week 5 with a knee injury to boot. He’s listed as questionable but there really isn’t a question. Bench him.

Defensive Decisions

Good Play

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals will be more than able to handle Brandon Weeden, Greg Little and Ben Watson. Expect the Bengals to deploy red-hot defensive linemen Michael Johnson and Geno Atkins to get after Weeden.  The two already have 11 sacks between them and I see them getting to Weeden at least 3 times this Sunday in a low scoring game. Bengals are a must start this week.

Risky Play

Atlanta Falcons: Bad timing gives me worry. Jonathan Babineaux (Groin) and Peria Jerry (Thingh) are the Defensive Tackles that make up the middle of the Falcon’s 4-3 front line. They’re both not even close to 100% and they’re in charge of stopping the Raiders top running back Darren McFadden from having a huge game. If they fail, Strong Safety William Moore (Hip) will be there to step in, but he’s also ailing right now. BOLD PREDICTION: McFadden rushes for over 100 yards and gets at least 1 rushing TD in  game that’s closer than we all expected it to be.

Bad Play

Seattle Seahawks: Deploying any defence against the New England Patriots is a bad idea for 2 reasons. The first one being that the Patriots have allowed a league low 2.80 fantasy points to the team defence they play against. The second can be summed up in 2 words: TOM BRADY. Bench the “Beach Chickens” and pick up someone like the Dolphins or Colts who have great match ups this week if you’re in a deeper league.

PS – I don’t talk about what kickers to bench and what kickers to play because if you have more than one kicker, you’re doing it wrong.

 

Week 6 “All Waiver Line Up”

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

With another week of football in the books, new fantasy assets have emerged and depth charts all across the league have been shaken up with injuries or slumping stars. To help fantasy football players bolster their rosters through the waiver wire, I will assemble an “All Waiver Lineup” each week comprised of players available in most leagues.

This week the branches of the waiver wire tree are ripe with fantasy assets just waiting to be plucked. Fortunately for Drew Brees and Cam Newton owners who ran into bye week drama, there are a few great one-week substitutions available in most leagues. The best one being Christian Ponder from Minnesota. The sophomore quarterback will be a solid start against the generous Redskins who have been giving away fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks like Halloween treats. If he’s out there in your league, add him and start him this week with confidence. Expecting a 250+ yard performance with a pair of passing TD’s is not that far a stretch for Ponder in week 6. He has amassed 1,082 passing yards, thrown 6 touchdown passes and only been picked off twice in the process. The Vikings are 4-1 in his five starts and he is steadily climbing the fantasy QB rankings. Grab him while you can!

Week 5 saw some key running back injuries that really shook up depth charts. That means fantasy owners have the chance to add a feature back (or at least a temporary one) for nothing. Cedric Benson’s injury freed up the starting job in Green Bay and Alex Green appears to be the next in line. He looked good in relief of the injured Benson, grabbing 55 rushing yards and 8 receiving yards with limited touches. Green is a great add because the Packers have placed Benson in the IR, making him ineligible to play until at least week 14. The other injury of note was to Ryan Williams in Arizona. His absence from the line up has created a 2-way dogfight for the starting role. LaRod Stephens-Howling is set to return from his hip injury this weekend and is the best add at this point in time. Keep in mind, William Powell is a solid running back and practiced fully with the team this week. If he starts out strong, he could run away with the job as well. Long story short, add Stephens-Howling and start him if you need an RB 2 or are paper-thin at the flex position. He isn’t going to be a huge point guarantee, so only start him if you’re in a jam. He’s worth the add because he could potentially become a solid RB 2 of he returns to form and the cardinals offensive line get their act together. Adding William Powell could also be a good idea in case he ends up with the job when the smoke clears.

By far, this week is the deepest at the WR position when it comes to waiver wire “cheepies”. The leader of the pack is the often-dropped Darrius Heyward-Bey. His owners watched him get carted off the field after a huge hit in week 4 against Denver. Many of these said owners dropped him because he wasn’t performing in the early weeks and averaged only 33 receiving yards a game. Good news is, Heyward-Bey has been cleared to play, practiced fully with the team and best of all, all the owners that dropped him still haven’t added him back yet. Expect a breakout game from DHB in the very near future and add him if you need a WR 3. In other WR news, Danny Amendola from St. Louis separated his shoulder and has inadvertently transformed Brandon Gibson into Sam Bradford’s number one target. Gibson is a sure thing start at WR 3 and should be added in all leagues. The final WR I think you should add is Andre Roberts. I know I was high on him last week and he was a let down in week 5, but his numbers will pick back up without a doubt. He’s already caught 4 TD’s this season and with Larry Fitzgerald getting double-teamed in the red zone by every opponent, expect him to catch a handful more TD’s in the coming weeks.

My advice to add this tight end is 50% talent and 50% match up. Jermaine Gresham of the Cincinnati Bengals has amazing athletic ability and should be able to get a lot of looks this weekend in the Bengals match up against the Cleveland Browns. If I was the Browns coach, (which I’m not) I would use my returning all-star corner back Joe Haden to be all up-in-the-business-of A.J. Green. So the Bengals WR Andrew Hawkins and Jermaine Gresham are really sneaky plays this week. If your pool doesn’t project them to get a bunch of points, ignore it. Add Gresham (and Hawkins if you he’s out there) and start them both if you need someone for this week.

If you or your opponents haven’t added rookie kickers Blair Walsh and Greg Zurlein yet, shame on you! Do it, and do it now. If you are playing against decent opposition, try and grab Detroit’s Jason Hanson for this week. He’s been dropped, along with a few other Lions personnel because of the team’s lack of success on the field. This week’s match up against the Philadelphia Eagles is promising because the Lions may be held to a field goal on more than one occasion.

The best defence to grab off the wire this weekend is without a doubt the Cincinnati Bengals. They are playing against the Cleveland Browns. And by Cleveland Browns, what I REALLY mean is that they’re playing against Brandon Weeden. The same Brandon Weeden that has thrown 5 TD’s and 9 interceptions. Oh yeah, he’s also been sacked 9 times and fumbled twice. The aggressive Bengals defence should make a mess of this match up. Grab them if they’re out there, trade for them if they’re not. Cinci has upcoming games against the Colts and Chargers make them playable for more than just week 6 if you’re in a pinch.

QB – Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings
RB 1 – Alex Green, Green Bay Packers
RB 2 – LaRod Stephens-Howling, Arizona Cardinals
WR 1 – Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams
WR 2 – Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders
WR 3 – Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals
TE – Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals
K – Jason Hanson, Detroit Lions
Def – Cincinnati Bengals

 

The Week 5 Stock Market

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

The value of players in fantasy sports constantly fluctuates exactly like the stock market. Your actions as a manager should obviously reflect that. It sounds obvious to “buy low and sell high” but too many fantasy owners go after players when their value has gone up after a breakout performance. To help you avoid having to overpay for players, this weekly post is aimed at helping you invest in players with upside that will become increasingly valuable in the coming weeks and suggest what players to target in trades with your opponents.

Quarterbacks:

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins – He’s starting to show value as a QB 2 that can be used on a bye week and is available in most leagues. He’s out there on the wire because he has a 2/6 touchdown to interception ratio. On the positive side, Tannehill’s on pace to have a 4,000+ passing yard season and his vision appears to be improving. If you own Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Eli Manning or Aaron Rodgers you should take note of Tannehill’s schedule from week 8-11. It includes the Jets, Colts, Titans and then the Bills.
Tony Romo, Cowboys – Throwing 5 picks and only a single touchdown at home on a Monday Night game shows that Romo is still the polar opposite of clutch. That being said, he’s too valuable to drop and trading him now doesn’t make sense because he’s not worth anything. Just bench him and add a replacement.

Running Backs:

Stevan Ridley, Patriots – His value is at a high point right now so you should trade him right away for 2 reasons. The first one is because he may move into a time-share with Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead because of how well they’ve been playing. The second and less obvious reason is his poor playoff schedule. Week 14 against the Houston Texans and Week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers make me not want to buy what Ridley is selling. Best thing to do is to sell him while he’s at his peak value so he doesn’t kill you when it counts.
Doug Martin, Buccaneers – For whatever reason he got only 8 touches in week 4 compared to the 20 touches he was getting earlier in the season. His value took a decent hit and him being on a bye week makes him more approachable. Try and send a trade offer to his owner for a replacement this week. I can guarantee you that it’s his backfield in Tampa Bay and the totes will come. Expect him to be scampering into the fancy grass on the regular after his bye week.

Wide Receivers:

Jerome Simpson, Vikings – He caught 50 of Christian Ponder’s 111 passing yards when he made his 2012 début against the Lions on Sunday. He’ll be a major factor in the Viking’s offense moving forward. Add and start him if he’s out there in your league.
Domenik Hixon, Giants – With Hakeem Nicks reportedly not improving, he will have a ton more opportunities to excel. He caught 6 passes for 116 yards when he started in place of Nicks on Sunday.
Randall Cobb, Packers – With Greg Jennings battling injury (again) owners seem to be flocking to James Jones because of his big week 4 performance. Cobb has been used all over the field and will have ample opportunity to break out. If you wait till week 6, you’ll be in a dog fight for him. Add him now and maybe wait a week to dress him.
Julio Jones, Falcons – His lacerated hand may be worse than he led on. The 111 receiving yards over his last three starts shows it. His owners might be willing to pull the trigger on a trade if the offer addresses an immediate need.
Greg Jennings, Packers – The groin injury isn’t season ending so if you can spare a bench spot, see if you can deal for him. If you own him, DO NOT sell him now. You’ll get a fraction of what he’s worth. Weather the storm now, reap the rewards later. Remember, the playoffs are later.
Steve Smith, Panthers – Not sure why, but Steve Smith has yet to do one of his famous touchdown celebrations this season. Plus he had a brutal looking fumble in his last start. Owners have to be getting a bit frustrated and may just deal him for someone who’s performing right now. Try to grab him if you can. If you own him, he’s a must start. Every week. No question. The red zone grabs will come.

Tight Ends:

Scott Chandler, Bills – The 6-7, 260lb monster just caught 2 touchdowns against the Patriots and now has 4 on the year. Chandler is turning into a low end option as a primary tight end. I don’t advise owning more than 1 TE but if you need help at flex or you’re one of the Hernandez owners looking for a plug, look no further.
Dennis Pitta – He put up a shocking goose egg last week and all the owners that lost close games because of it may be unwilling to start him this week. Send a feeler trade offer their way if you want to upgrade at tight end. Flacco looks great this year and will resume making Pitta one of his top options. If you can get Pitta, do it and dress him this week with confidence.

Kickers:

Greg Zuerlein, Rams – Greg who? Oh yeah, the guy who’s leading the NFL with 12 successful field goals on the year. Add him if you need a kicker and hope he continues his hot streak.
Billy Cundiff, Redskins – He’s only made 2 field goals in the last three weeks. Doesn’t get enough action to have on your roster. Replace him ASAP. Blair Walsh or Zuerlin (above) are my best suggestions.

Defence:

San Diego Chargers – Through 4 games they’ve got 7 sacks, 5 picks, forced 4 fumbles and added a return TD. Take their averaging only 17.75 points against per game into consideration and they may come out of their match up against the 0-4 Saints with a decent amount of points. Consider adding them if you need help or have a slot to spare to buy invest in their stock before it sky-rockets.
Detroit Lions – Not sure what’s going on in motor city but it’s hard to justify owning them, let along dressing them. Just cut them and forget you wasted a draft pick on the Lions. If you’re in a deep league, the Panthers defence is a decent plug for week 5.

 

Week 5 “All-Waiver Line Up”

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

With another week of football in the books, new fantasy assets have emerged and depth charts all across the league have been shaken up with injuries or slumping stars. To help fantasy football players bolster their rosters through the waiver wire, I will assemble an “All Waiver Lineup” each week comprised of players available in most leagues.

The best quarterback to target this week is Kevin Kolb. I honestly never thought I would write that. Ever. But he keeps proving the naysayers wrong. He has thrown for 686 yards and added 6 touchdown passes in his last three games, and he’s only been picked off twice in the process. He already has more points on the season than starters like Phillip Rivers and I’m guessing that after the 4-0 Cardinals play St. Louis in week 5, he’ll surpass other high end starters like Michael Vick, Matt Stafford and Matt Schaub in points. Then every team owner under the sun will be looking to add him. Long story short, add him while you can. He’s owned in 3.2% of leagues as I type this…

Running Backs are always a hot commodity with stocks rising at falling at alarming rates. Knowing that people notoriously overreact to a single RB performance, I’m not really sure how after 4 weeks the 16th ranked Running Back is only owned in 8.2% of pools. Jackie Battle of the San Diego Chargers has 205 total yards from scrimmage and 3 touchdowns. He’s one more week away from sliding into an RB2 role in most formats instead of just a handcuff for the injury prone Ryan Matthews (Who’s having fumble issues). San Diego’s match up with a paper thin Saints defence this week makes Battle even more appealing. Another good target is Kendall Hunter of the San Francisco 49ers. He’s Frank Gore’s primary backup, so he gets a ton of work when the 49ers jump out to an early lead. Since they’re one of the best teams in the NFL and in a weak division you can expect Hunter to put up numbers consistently enough to make him worth owning. Obvious side note: If 29-year old Gore gets hurt, Hunter’s value will shoot through the roof overnight.

Here’s a head scratcher stat: Brian Hartline of the Miami Dolphins leads the NFL with 455 receiving yards. Not Megatron, not Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson. Brian Hartline. He’s clearly established a strong relationship with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill that seems to be effective. Hartline  is owned in all of 2.1% of leagues and certainly worth a waiver wire look. Another Wide Receiver to target is the number 2 man in Arizona Andre Roberts. He may only have 229 receiving yards, but with all the attention going to Larry Fitzgerald in the red zone, Roberts has already grabbed 4 touchdown passes. Teams have no choice but to double cover Fitzgerald, so I expect Roberts to continue to put up numbers like these all season. The last guy to add before he blows up is Jerome Simpson (I will talk more about him on Wednesday’s “Stock Market” post). For now just know that he accounted for 50 of the 111 passing yards thrown by Christian Ponder in his 2012 debut on Sunday. I figure Simpson will be a major factor in the Viking’s offence moving forward. Pick him up and dress him week 5 against the Titans as your WR 3 or Flex Starter.

The Tight End position is deep this season but there is one player worth adding, even if you don’t need help filling the role as of yet. Normally I would be against owning multiple tight ends but Greg Olsen has got to be grabbed if you can make a space for him. He is currently 4th among tight ends with 256 receiving yards and he grabbed a nice looking touchdown this week against the stingy Falcons. Olsen led the Panthers in looks, catches and receiving yards and has become Cam Newton’s number 2 target behind Steve Smith. This week he’s owned in 17.6% of leagues. If you don’t need him and he continues to succeed, he will make a great bargaining chip before the playoffs.

Real fast, if your kicker sucks, grab the rookie kicker for the Minnesota Vikings Blair Walsh. He’s made a 50+ yard field goal 2 weeks in a row so they clearly aren’t afraid to use him. Next week’s showdown with the Titans will be closer than you think so he should be used often and could put up big numbers.

If you drafted a defence like the Eagles, Giants or Packers that’s in the bottom third of the league in points, it may be time to add a second one or replace your defence altogether. The fact that the Vikings Defence is still out there in 96% of leagues is astounding to me. This is the crew that has already amassed a dozen sacks and recovered 4 fumbles. Obvious math: That’s 3 sacks and a forced fumble PER GAME! Not to mention their run defence in among the best in the NFL. Their week 5 match up against the lowly Tennessee Titans should make them a popular target this week. Add and start them for week 5 with confidence.

This week’s “All Waiver Lineup”
QB – Kevin Kolb
RB 1 – Jackie Battle
RB 2 – Kendall Hunter
WR 1 – Ryan Hartline
WR 2 – Andre Roberts
WR 3 – Jerome Simpson
TE – Greg Olsen
K – Blair Walsh
DEF – Minnesota Vikings

Best of luck to all of you on the waiver wire! Go get your players and post your thoughts to comments.

 

 

Sunday Driving: Week 17

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Happy New Year, eh – New Year’s Eve has something to do with this post coming so close to game time.

May all your draft mistakes be forgot…

Some players will rest – I take care of that here

We break down all of the news and then follow all of the action 12-8 right here.

Good luck to your fantasy playoff team if you’re still playing and even more luck to your real-life team if they have a playoff spot on the line.

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