2012 Fantasy Football, daily leagues, bloomberg, Dynasty, keeper,
Colin Kaepernick injury Alshon Jeffery dynasty
Cecil Shorts sleeper Justin Blackmon snap count
Jordan Shipley dynasty Terrelle Pryor start Matt
Leinart sit Drew Brees trade
Chase Daniel injury Ryan Grant dynasty Jackie
Battle draft Andrew Luck dynasty Kalil Bell
draft Jacquizz Rodgers idp Leon Hall
- See more of
our statistical analysis on the 2012 NFL Draft
Week-17 Version 1.0:
*It's a tricky week to make early
assumptions or projections on, but for those
moving on to a Week-17 battle...here's a first
take at some situations to consider:
-- Given how well the Arizona pass-defense
has played this whole season, and of late, I'm
not sure I would completely fall for a "the
49ers are mad, and Kaepernick is going to go
-- The 49ers are in a must win game in
order to secure a 1st-round BYE situation, so I
would expect mostly Frank Gore, with
limited LaMichael James.
-- You have to like Justin Blackmon,
Cecil Shorts, and even a Jordan
Shipley this week versus the Titans if
MJD doesn't come back.
12/24/12 eve Shorts placed IR, done for the
-- I would expect to see a split start for
Terrelle Pryor at best this week, but
there is almost no hope of him being a top
Fantasy producer...ever. If the Raiders thought
anything of Pryor, it would have been he, not
Matt Leinart in relief of Carson Palmer
-- I guess the Chargers are going to
finish out with Jackie Battle. I would
have guessed Curtis Brinkley with more of
a look. Battle versus Oakland in Week-17 may be
something. Battle had 19 carries against the
Jets in Week-16.
-- I have no idea why the Saints would not
go with Chase Daniel over Drew Brees
this week. If they do start Brees, you have to
figure it will be a token start and an early
-- With the Vikings in the driver's seat
for playoffs (win and in), I cannot imagine
Ryan Grant will have a similar explosion
this week versus the Minnesota run-defense that
just humiliated Houston's running attack.
-- Andrew Luck is progressively
worse each week, and is a "must sit" against the
Texans-Defense...if he even plays much at
all. With Luck likely out some/all the game,
Wayne-Hilton are Week-17 non-factors as well.
-- I would count on Reggie Bush
being under-whelming in Week-17, versus him
having a big day versus a motivated
-- A normal team would shut down C.J.
Spiller for the season. Expect him to see
20+ carries...if so, he may have a 200+ yard
-- You would assume that Denver will
destroy KC pretty quickly this week, which means
light work ahead for Peyton Manning and
Knowshon Moreno in the 2nd-half.
Possibly, a huge day for Ronnie Hillman.
-- I went big on Alshon Jeffery for
the last two weeks, and got nothing. Too many
missed-throws by Cutler for my taste. Once fully
benched by me for Week-17, Jeffery will probably
have 100+ yards and 2 TDs...
-- Kahlil Bell has proven (last
season) that he can produce late in a season.
With/if Matt Forte out, Bell is a threat
for 100+ yards against Detroit in a must-win
-- You have to lean anti-Torrey Smith
against Leon Hall this week, but who
knows how much Hall will really play?
-- I can see it now...Jacquizz Rodgers
will be announced/deduced as a main-carry RB
for Week-17, and the FF-world will go crazy. You
know I will go the other way -- untalented RB
(Jacquizz) meets talented run-defense (with
still trying to win coach) = disappointment
Week-16 Version 2.0:
-- The Jets' playoff hopes are now
officially "done," so the Jets-Defense is
not a play versus San Diego this week. That will
be one of the most uninspired games of 2012, on
both sides. I would expect Tim Tebow or
Greg McElroy to get that start. Probably,
McElroy on a hunch. We think McElroy is a
smart/low-turnover QB...so I wouldn't jump on
the Chargers-Defense too fast either in
-- If Brent Celek is out, and you
are TE-desperate, then consider Clay Harbor.
Harbor was targeted six-times in their game last
week -- a game in which Philly had the ball a
season low 22+ minutes. Harbor had three
red-zone targets this past week: one target a
tough catch (but could've been made) in the
end-zone for six. Another a slant from 6-yards
out, where he caught it and couldn't drive the
defender into the end-zone...falling short at
the one. In another world, Harbor had two TDs
last week and is the toast of the waiver wire.
Harbor is a well above-average TE athletically,
and can do some things a lot of other TE can't
-- including be featured on the other end of
streaking down the sideline bombs (like he was
-- OK, I'm officially burned by Chris
Givens. After the Rams made him a
centerpiece of the offense a couple of weeks
ago, he had a quiet Week-14 (with a near-miss
TD, just a yard short), followed by this
disaster of a Week-15. Sam Bradford threw
55-times in a blowout, but Givens saw 4 targets.
Unpredictable targeting the last two weeks, so
confidence in Givens is drastically lowered
-- The Chargers RB of note for Week-16 has
to be Curtis Brinkley, and facing a bad
Jets run-defense that had what little heart was
left ripped out...this could be a 100+ yard day
-- Josh Gordon versus Denver/Champ
Bailey is a bad matchup this week.
Week-16 Version 1.0:
-- The Denver-Defense facing
Brandon Weeden in Week-16 is a nice final
gift the computer will have given to you this
season. Week-17 versus Kansas City is pretty
sweet if it matters to you.
-- Greater than the Denver-D in Week-16 is
the desperate Bears-Defense facing
-- Lest we forget the Patriots-Defense
-- Alshon Jeffery had 3 catches for
44 yards and a TD called back on penalty, as
well as two other plays he was interfered with
for another 58 yards worth of penalty yards in
total. In a different world, Jeffery had 4-5
catches for 100+ and 1-2 TDs on 9
targets...instead of no catches on four targets.
Jeffery is a sleeper play again this week as
Brandon Marshall draws Patrick Peterson
in primary coverage.
-- As much as the computer is not a
long-term fan, Vick Ballard is a top play
versus Kansas City this week.
-- Marques Colston has fallen off
the face of the earth the past few weeks. It has
been of concern because the target counts are
falling, and he had a season-low three targets
-- If Danario Alexander can go from
multi-TDs against the Steelers, to completely
shutout by the Panthers...I'd look elsewhere for
Week-16 excitement when the Chargers face the
Jets. If the Jets win on MNF, and thus still
have something to play for, Danario would draw
-- DeAngelo Williams is back on the
board for Week-16 versus Oakland (if Jonathan
Stewart still out). I don't think I could
pull the trigger unless in total desperation.
-- I really would have appreciated Drew
Brees's 4 TD and 300+ yard passing game last
week in leagues where I didn't have a bye. Brees
still has a chance to finish as the top PPG
Fantasy QB this season...he just picked a bad
time for his "cold" games (Weeks 13 and 14) for
some of us.
-- So many QBs have struggled with the
Browns pass-defense this season (since Joe
Haden has returned), that I was completely
shocked to witness Kirk Cousins posting a
300+ yard and 2 TD/1 INT day against them.
Cousins' first (long) TD pass was incredibly
lucky. I will have to re-watch this game to get
a proper feel, but the plays that I saw while
watching multiple games Sunday afternoon --
Cousins was not impressing me.
-- The computer told you three years ago
Dennis Pitta could be the best PPR TE in
football. He has been that since Week-10, if you
ignore his Week-11 game that he left with a
concussion. Pitta started hot this year, then
disappeared, and is finishing ablaze with 5 TDs
in his last five full games played.
-- Week-15 featured preseason Hall-of-Fame
RB David Wilson completing his third (hat
trick) of Fantasy Football "suckering" of
Fantasy GMs this season. Everyone was orgasmic
about Wilson coming into the regular season.
After he did absolutely nothing initially, an
early Ahmad Bradshaw injury got people
excited...until Andre Brown became a
great NFL runner, with Wilson M-I-A. Now with
Brown and Bradshaw hurt -- Wilson got his first
true start...and was arguably outplayed by
journeyman Kregg Lumpkin.
-- I cannot figure out if Colin
Kaepernick is a pending great QB, or
incredibly lucky. He has to have credit for
throwing the deep ball TDs against New England,
but outside of those long balls...he was 10-21
for 83 yards passing.
This may finally be the wave of the future for
the QB position -- highly mobile, very tall QB
(that defenses cannot/will not heavily
pass-rush) that just sits back in picks apart
opponent with deep balls. It's what Cam
Newton does, it is what Kaepernick is doing.
The moment there is pressure, or a short field
to the end-zone (within 10-yards) it's
troublesome...but there is rarely pressure or a
RG3, Kaepernick, Cam Newton, and
Russell Wilson will be among the top-5
rated Fantasy Football QBs in a 4-point pass
passing-TD league, with no 300+ yard passing
bonuses in 2013. This influx on the "new breed"
makes Andrew Luck, Tom Brady, Drew Brees,
and Aaron Rodgers half as valuable as
they might normally be for Fantasy Football. It
makes Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton
Manning, Andy Dalton, Eli Manning and
Matt Stafford Fantasy Football dinosaurs.
Week-15 Version 2.0:
-- Alshon Jeffery scored a TD after
missing six of his last seven games with an
injury. The additional thing to note is that
Jeffery also had a 40-yard bomb ricochet off his
hands in a leaping grab attempt in the end-zone
this week as well (not an easy one, but a catch
that he could have made). What would have
happened for waivers this week had Jeffery had
made that catch and had about 100-yards and 2
TDs on the week?
We have argued that in a very weak 2012 WR
draft-class, Jeffery was the one "big-WR" that
could be the break-out elite/dominant one. Given
the attention that Brandon Marshall will
draw the next two weeks (or any week), in
must-win games, Jeffery may be a 100+ yard and
1+ TD producer per game ahead...and the key in
changing the Bears fortunes/offense coming down
-- Dennis Pitta has scored a TD in
three of his last four full-games played (left
Week-11 early with a concussion). He has been
trending hot of late, but should continue to be
a top producer with the Ravens new
-- Marvin Jones flew a bit
under-the-radar this week. He had just four
official targets this week, but note he also had
three other targets waived off due to penalties.
There was a real effort to have Jones involved
in the offense...and he had 82-yards rushing and
receiving combined as it was. Jones is a
tremendous athlete, with suspect hands. When the
Bengals get Jones the ball, he is a threat for
-- If Terrelle Pryor is named starter,
you can throw away all of your Raiders WR/TE
options for Fantasy Football -- especially,
Brandon Myers and Rod Streater.
Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore
are the most viable working with Pryor's Tebow-esque
style, with Juron Criner as a sleeper.
However, Pryor is like having a bad Tim Tebow
at QB...it's questionable that he could complete
more than 7-8 passes in a game.
-- You're about to find out that Kirk
Cousins is not the QB the scouts/media
portrait him to be, if he truly does start this
week. A Cousins start makes the
Cleveland-Defense an excellent play this
week...and kills Alfred Morris and
Pierre Garcon's Fantasy value.
Week-15 Version 1.0:
-- Andrew Luck is getting the majority
of the publicity among all the top rookie QBs.
However, Luck's FF-scoring of late hasn't been
close to what RG3 and Russell Wilson have
produced. In the past three weeks (Weeks 12-14),
Luck (17.0) has outscored fellow rookie Nick
Foles (16.9) by just 0.1 Fantasy PPG (4 pts
per pass TD) in that span. Luck has been more
bad than good this season, and if HOU loses on
Monday Night (and thus still has something to
play for)…then the Texans-Defense is a
play Week-15, and Luck is a definitive "sit."
-- Josh Freeman is going to wind up being
a key/top QB for the Week-15 playoff game, as he
faces the very weak pass-defense of the Saints.
Freeman has been one of the best Fantasy QBs of
the last ten weeks, especially when facing
weaker opponents. He looks awful to me, but
somehow he produces for FF against bad teams. I
won't fight it...
-- Aaron Rodgers continues to be
"mediocre" for Fantasy purposes, in part due to
the flimsy offensive line play that is
compromising nearly every pass play, which has
also grounded their running game to a halt.
Facing the Bears next week, depending upon your
QB2...it may bench time for Rodgers.
Green Bay is turning more and more to the run as
a gloss over for their pass-protection issues.
The days of Rodgers piling it on through the air
appear to be dead for the rest of the 2012
-- What Danario
Alexander is doing since becoming a member
of the Chargers is unreal. Against a very good
Steelers-Defense, in a must-win contest
for Pittsburgh -- Alexander had his way with
them. Alexander has two multi-TD games in his
last four games played. Week-15 versus Carolina
should be another opportunity at great
-- Alshon Jeffery
returned from injury and scored a TD, but he
should have had two. Jeffery has an upside pop
as teams have to focus on the exorbitant level
of pass-targets Brandon Marshall gets.
Versus GB-ARI the next two weeks, he is a threat
for a TD in each game.
-- Montell Owens had
a nice TD-run late, against a quasi-prevent
defense, leading to a nice overall FF-game. Bet
all your chips against it versus the great
run-defense of Miami next week.
-- Under the Titans new
Offensive-Coordinator, CJ2K has averaged
5.5 FF PPG (9.0 PPR) on 47.5 yards rushing per
game and 3.0 yards per carry.
-- Chris Givens had
an underwhelming week after a big build up (by
us). Two notes on his Week-14 output: (a) Givens
was the most targeted Rams player with 10
targets (b) Givens had a catch & run near-score
that he missed the TD by a half-an-inch stepping
out of bounds pre-crossing the goal-line. He's
still a strong play versus MIN next week.
-- Drew Brees has
been a mess the last few weeks, and is virtually
destroying FF-teams in the playoff run. However,
facing the weaker Tampa Bay pass-defense next
week…I don't know how you sit him?
-- As Drew Brees has
fallen apart, so has Jimmy Graham. This
is now four weeks of mediocre performances for
-- It's been dicey the last
few weeks, but Colin Kaepernick keeps
saving his Fantasy-bacon with a long run late in
games. This upcoming week against the Patriots
will be quite a test for a QB that looks very
limited (to me) as a passer. From what I've
seen, I'm nervous to trust Kaepernick if I have
-- LaMichael James
looks good, in fact he looks just like
Kendall Hunter…and thus he is the Hunter
equivalent for 2012 Fantasy Football purposes.
-- I'd love to hear from
the person who faced a Fantasy team that started
the Seattle-Defense this week, but yet
they overcame that incredible explosion and
still won. This game we play is not a fair one
-- The David Wilson
re-hysteria begins now. Wilson is a talent, but
some of his big game was due to a few extra
carries when Ahmad Bradshaw got nicked
up, and punctuated with a late/long TD run
against a zombie-like Saints defense. Wilson
will not supplant Bradshaw, unless Bradshaw is
injured. This nice effort by Wilson does put
Bradshaw back into a fear of a workload split
again next week.**UPDATE**
Bradshaw may be missing this week, so Wilson is
a hot play with ATL-BAL ahead.
-- Jason Avant has
to be on the radar screen for Weeks 15-16, if
you are of the mindset that Nick Foles is
an emerging talent, and is going to throw a ton
again the next weeks.
-- WR Kris Durham
is a former 4th-round draft pick of Seattle in
2011 but was cut this year. He has resurfaced
with Detroit, and got the start this week with
all the Lions WR injuries. Note that Durham was
Matt Stafford college roommate...and he
appears to be trying to get his buddy an NFL
future -- throwing several passes to his pal
(half of them ill-advised). Durham is a huge
6'6" target, with suspect hands. Look for a 5-15
yard alley-oop TD in the near future for Durham.
Week-14 Version 2.0:
-- Over the past two weeks, Chris
Givens has averaged 8.0 receptions for 107.5
yards and 0.50 TDs with 10.0 pass-targets per
game. I mentioned it last week -- this is not a
cute fluke WR anymore. The Rams are designing
plays specifically for Givens. The computer
feels he is going to WR-2 status the rest of the
way (BUF-MIN-TB). Even if Danny Amendola
is back, it only helps open things up for
-- Our computer has been annoyingly
flagging Tony Scheffler for weeks, mostly
to no avail. However, Scheffler's targets and
yardage counts have been creeping up the last
three weeks (3.3 rec, 44.7 yards, 0.0 TD, 7.0
targets, 1.0 red-zone targets per game). What
makes this more intriguing is that the loss of
Ryan Broyles makes Scheffler the 2nd-best
overall receiving target (our opinion) on the
Lions (in terms of size/speed combo). He may
even play that 2nd-WR role some...he has the
speed for it. In a sea of TE despair, Scheffler
may take a step forward.
-- If the Texans win in Week-14, that all
but locks-down the #1 seed for 2012. Ben Tate
is theoretically the best "Foster-resting" play
for FF then. However, Justin Forsett has
been an excellent runner as well this year. A
Tate-Forsett split, with Foster seeing some
light duty is maybe more likely than a Tate 20+
carry a game workout, especially given Tate's
-- Jared Cook has averaged 5.0
receptions for 39.5 yards and 0.0 TDs on 10.0
pass-targets the last two games. The ultra-tall
TE is a great target for an erratic Jake
Locker. Much like the aforementioned Tony
Scheffler, Cook's target trend may be
getting ready to predict a bigger step forward
to finish the year.
-- Riley Cooper is the man to roll
with on favorable matchups for Nick Foles.
Which will be Week-14 vs. TB and Week-16 vs.
WAS. Cooper will lead all Eagles WRs the rest of
the season in all receiving categories,
Week-14 Version 1.0:
-- Greg McElroy is like a poor
man's Christian Ponder. He's a solid,
smart QB heading up a
lesser-talented/lesser-volume passing-game. For
2012, there is likely nothing here for Fantasy
Football (should McElroy continue to start).
McElroy seemed to favor Stephen Hill as
his main look, which may actually provide some
potential in a deeper league. Given that the
Jets face JAC-TEN the next two weeks, there is a
chance a crafty McElroy will hook up with his
physically biggest, best
WR option for a TD-hopes.
-- I would not jump onto Montell Owens
as the Rashard Jennings alternative. Keep
an eye on Jordan Todman as a dark horse.
He's not a home run, but it's something better
Todman is a long, long shot.
-- OK, we (and NFL defenses) are starting
to get a read on Colin Kaepernick. I
would be nervous about starting him Weeks 15-16
versus NE-SEA (unless the SEA CBs are
suspended). Kaepernick has failed the beat the
Rams in nine quarters facing them
(or throw for a single TD against them).
However, he did defeat an overrated Bears team
that was missing Jay Cutler, and a very
-- Two weeks ago, you lost faith in me.
You can admit it. This week, you've watched
Kaepernick drop and Nick Foles ascend.
Patience young grasshoppers!
-- If Ryan Broyles is going to miss
time (uggh that kills me!), then Mike Thomas
has a WR-3/Flex potential.
**Broyles now out for
season with ACL, double uggh**
-- Greg Jennings looked mostly
healthy in his return from injury. He had an
"OK" game statistically, but he did not play a
lot of snaps early-on. When the game tightened
up we saw more Jennings. I would think he is a
normal play from here on in.
-- Kyle Rudolph is finally becoming
a primary focus of Ponder over the last few
games, but our fear is that he will fade back to
hit & miss when Percy Harvin returns. The
additional focus on Rudolph began with the
absence of Harvin.
-- I'm now more on the Dallas Clark
"believer" side of the ledger with PHI-NO-STL
ahead. I thought he'd be quiet against DEN and
stay a bit hidden, but alas he scored a TD this
week...his 3rd game with a TD in his last 4
He'll be hot on waivers this week.
-- Demarco Murray looks great in
his return from injury, much better than Greg
Jennings did this week.
We've been promoting Russell Wilson
since the football universe turned on him after
his first couple games this year. I hope
somewhere in the last 5-10 weeks you were able
to take advantage of his lower-acquisition value
in Dynasty Leagues. Actually, if you were a
College Football Metrics subscriber...you
already had him. Once people see his current
statistical/performance trend, and now with him
beating the Bears in awesome late-comeback
fashion, you can't acquire him reasonably now.
Wilson played an absolutely brilliant
game...again...as I've been saying most all
season (while others judged his early
performance as "horrible").
-- Lester Jean is too slow to be an
impact NFL WR. Useful, but not a future star.
-- The Jets-Defense suffocated
Ryan Lindley (not that the task was
difficult this week, and now faces Henne-Locker
the next two weeks. It's shaky, but those in
need...the Jets-D continues to be worth a look.
-- Tony Moeaki's output keeps
ticking up. He had his first TD of 2012 this
week. He is still just a desperation play in a
very deep league. I would not trust him in a
Brady Quinn-led offense at all.
I thought Coby Fleener might be
a TE that could have upside upon his return from
injury. He scored a TD, and had a near-miss TD
on another throw this week upon that return. The
problem is that those were his only two targets
in the game.
-- What do you do with LeSean McCoy
now? I had said that Bryce Brown looked
like Adrian Peterson running the ball
several times in the preseason...sometimes my
eyes aren't so bad after all? McCoy's FF-value
is watering down quickly. What will the Eagles
do? I will break that down (my opinion) in the
PHI-DAL game recap this week.
-- In my book, you can't use the
Texans-Defense against the Patriots next
week. They looked great again in Week-13, but
they have been susceptible to high-flying
Week-13 Version 2.0:
-- I'm just guessing that we might have
been the only scouting service with Bryce
Brown in our top-25 Dynasty Rookie Draft
prospects (#21), and the 16th highest rated
among the offensive players. If you watched
Monday Night Football, now you know why. Those
with LeSean McCoy have to be antsy...a
departing Andy Reid and an emerging Bryce
Brown rips into McCoy's future value.
-- The unfortunate Andre Brown
injury will mean that Ahmad Bradshaw is
going to go back to producing top 5-10 Fantasy
points among RBs, like he did the first third of
this season. David Wilson will get some
touches, but Bradshaw will carry the load down
the stretch if he can stay healthy.
-- Our top-rated college Kicker prospect
of all-time in our computer scouting models is
Alex Henery. Henery has now hit on 44 of
48 career FGs. His issue isn't accuracy, it's
getting more FG opportunities. Michael Vick
did not get to the red-zone often the past two
seasons, and when he did he usually turned it
over. Foles isn't cashing in red-zone TDs at a
high-level yet, but he is getting Eagles there
without turning it over every time, and getting
the team FG attempts at least. With Vick, Henery
has no FF value...if the Eagles commit to Foles
the rest of 2012 (and I don't think they will,
they will want to keep him in one piece for
2013) then Henery comes into play for
-- Jonathan Stewart starts out well
this week on MNF, and the Panthers score on
their first two drives, life is good. Stewart
has a couple carries where he gets popped in the
backfield and out he goes for the dreadful
DeAngelo Williams. The Panthers drives
instantly stall with DeAngelo, and the Panthers
fall behind before the Eagles fumble back over
to Carolina. Stewart injured his ankle, so he
never reappeared. Stewart is my guy in the
Panthers RB-race and has been Ok-ish the last
few weeks, but the pop does not appear to be
Week-13 Version 1.0:
-- Ryan Broyles played a brilliant
game on Thanksgiving...beyond just the 126-yard
effort. Given Titus Young's issues, and
the talent of Broyles -- Broyles could be the
next lesser-known WR to pop with consistency for
Fantasy Football (a la a Cecil Shorts).
If Broyles continues to start despite Young's
return, then I would get really FF-enthused.
-- Those with the Seattle-Defense may need
to hop off them ASAP with the pending 4-game
suspensions of Brandon Browner and
-- Jalen Parmele's statistical
output didn't look all too impressive this week,
but for the rare few of you that did not watch
the Titans-Jags game (sarcasm) -- Parmele nearly
broke a TD run on his first touch (a 13-yard
run), but he came up limping during this initial
run. He then sat/rode a stationary bike and
returned briefly before half-time. Just as he
started taking over the game again in the
2nd-half, he came up limping again. Between all
the limping, Parmele ran the ball sensationally.
If he is clean for next week, he is a start.
**NOT CLEAN, OUT FOR
THE YEAR NOW**
-- The Browns are one of the better NFL
defenses, as well as one of the better Fantasy
defenses. Facing Carson Palmer and
Brady Quinn the next two weeks could be a
sweet play for those defense-hopping.
-- We were high on a Ronnie Hillman
start this week, with a noted fear of a
Knowshon Moreno cut-in. Once the late-news
hit that Moreno was starting, that killed the
Hillman vibe for using him for the week and
probably for the FF-stretch run.
-- Anyone out there holding on to hope for
Vick Ballard, I would look elsewhere. Our
computer said limited talent pre-NFL Draft, and
that's all we see with Ballard is unimpressive
runs. Decent touch counts, but poor output.
-- The Jets-Defense could have
Lindley, Henne, Locker and Rivers in the next
four weeks... and could be a decent defensive
option for those scrambling for defenses
week-to-week. The Jets could run this table and
get back in the playoff hunt. If Kevin Kolb
starts next week, then I want no part of it.
-- Mohamed Sanu = you're welcome.
The computer had Sanu in its sights weeks before
anyone thought of it even as deep-sleeper. This
pre-game week he was more discussed, and now
next week he will be yammered about non-stop.
The thing is he hasn't really been utilized like
he could -- there is upside here.
-- Colin Kaepernick was less great
this week, but he was still pretty solid for his
first road start in the loud dome. We are still
unsure what is taking place here with a QB that
our computer says will struggle, but he is worth
the gamble to see how this shakes out.
-- Justin Blackmon should be solid
again versus the Bills in Week-13, but then a
fear-factor versus Antonio Cromartie the
following week...as well as facing Sean Smith
-- Pierre Garcon is a full-steam
ahead start for Fantasy from here on in.
Opposing defense doesn't matter. RG3
trumps opponent, and his style works perfectly
with Garcon. This could have been huge all year,
but you get to enjoy it down the stretch.
-- You may be tired of me saying this for
the last 10+ weeks, but Russell Wilson
impresses me more every week. He could be huge
for Fantasy in 2013-14+. He may be useful in a
pinch down the 2012 stretch.
-- The Cincinnati-Defense has
Rivers-Romo the next two weeks, then possibly
Vick after that. A nice run of high-turnover
-- Beanie Wells is probably a
decent FF-start versus NYJ and SEA (if their CBs
are suspended) upcoming, and even better if
Kevin Kolb is back.
-- Denarius Moore caught a TD pass
this week, giving him just one catch in the past
two games. With CLE-DEN the next two weeks, he
is likely a FF-sit. Maybe for KC-CAR in Weeks
15-16, he will be useful again.
-- Isn't it amazing what Torrey Smith
can do when the Ravens attempt to get him the
ball? He's facing PIT next week, so probably
back to nothing again for a week.
-- If Heath Miller was dropped by
anyone in your league upon the Ben injury, this
would be the time to get in on him for the
-- C.J. Spiller truly took the bulk
of the carries over Fred Jackson. When
Jackson did take touches, it did not look good.
-- Chris Givens is taking a
next-step toward becoming FF-viable every week.
For the first time, we saw the Rams design
several shorter plays to just get the ball to
Givens to make plays (are you paying attention
-- When it mattered this week, Marcel
Reece was stuffed by the Bengals. With
Mike Goodson and Darren McFadden
possibly back next week, I'd get ready for a
plan-B on Reece.
Week-12 Version 2.0:
-- The Cleveland-Defense is the
proverbial "better than you think," so they
might actually be a great FF-defense play in
Week-12 versus Charlie Batch.
-- Chad Henne with the suddenly
dangerous WR-trio of Shorts-Blackmon-Robinson,
facing the Titans, might actually be FF-useful
-- What Colin Kaepernick did on
MNF...I cannot imagine he would sit for Alex
Smith next week (but he probably will). Our
computer does not like Kaepernick. In 2011,
Kaepernick was a disappointing mess. On MNF in
Week-11 of 2012, Kaepernick was simply
-- The Cincinnati Bengals-Defense
has Palmer-Rivers-Romo-Foles/Vick in the next
four weeks...four of the highest turnover QBs in
-- T.Y. Hilton could be big again
this week, if Donnie Avery misses the game with
-- Ronnie Hillman could/should be a
top-15 Fantasy Football RB the rest of the way
as the main starter now, but Knowshon Moreno
is a serious threat to that.
-- Our computer thinks Josh
Freeman will crash back to earth the next
two weeks with ATL and DEN. Freeman does not
fare well against better pass-defenses. As
Freeman goes, so goes Mike Williams and
Vincent Jackson...as well as Dallas
Clark, who has scored a TD in three of his
last five games.
Week-12 Version 1.0:
-- For those with RB roster issues -- If
LeSean McCoy is going to miss time with a
concussion, you have to make Bryce Brown
a priority for a Week-12 start. Brown was one of
the more eye-catching RBs of the 2012 preseason.
When you really watch his tape, Brown will
remind you of an Adrian Peterson...not
saying he's "the next AP," but he runs with a
similar power and speed. The former High School
superstar, and college head case, has been
finding redemption all year with Philly. Week-12
could be interesting versus the Panthers...if
McCoy is out.
-- There is no natural replacement for
Rob Gronkowski (broken arm) on the Patriots.
It's not like at RB, where the next man up is
typically equal to the starter. Visanthe
Shiancoe will not step in and be Gronk...no
one will. This Gronk injury makes all the Pats
passing game options take a step back, including
Those that lost Gronk, sad to say, may have been
dealt a 2012 FF-death blow. It's why we elevate
the importance of the elite TE -- you cannot
replace Gronk like you can most RBs. This
upcoming week you might have RB waiver options
like Bryce Brown, or Ronnie Hillman,
or Jalen Parmele. Last week gave you
Marcel Reece (or in my case, Taiwan Jones).
Useful RBs keep coming. Top TEs don't exist
While you scrape the barrel for a new TE, I
would consider making a discount trade for
fading Vernon Davis. If you are going to
gamble on mediocre Fantasy Football TEs, you
might as well try the most talented TE in
football...and hope someone throws him the ball
every so often.
-- Mohamed Sanu saved me this week
by scoring a TD late. We projected Sanu to have
some heavy action this week with his snap count
growing and Andrew Hawkins out, but it
was an under-whelming/low-target effort. Sanu
played most of the snaps, and had the first play
of the game designed for him, but did little
between that first play and his late TD.
However, it is two-weeks in-a-row with a TD for
-- Everyone will go insane for Justin
Blackmon now, and I get it, but we haven't
seen anything close to this type of action from
Blackmon this season...and he has had many
chances to shine. I'd still be worried that this
was a bit of a blip, and not a rise to greatness
yet. He still is working with Henne/Gabbert, and
will now draw #1 CB coverage instead of #2-3 CB
-- Danario Alexander was one of the
top-10 highest rated "big-WRs" (6'2+, 210+) that
we have ever statistically scouted in the last
decade. All that stands between he, and
greatness is staying injury free. I am so glad
for Alexander, who is a great kid who has been
besieged by injury for years. Danario is to
Philip Rivers, as Demaryius Thomas is
to Peyton Manning -- a main option for
weaker armed QBs to loft the ball in the general
direction of their taller WR weapon and hope for
good things to happen. Side Note: Alexander was
cut by Buffalo a few weeks before he landed on
-- Nick Foles will be a big joke
for the mainstream this week. For most, their
memory is one week long...or one highlight clip
long. Foles is still a buy for me in Dynasty
Leagues as a now much cheaper bet on him as a
future good-great-elite NFL QB.
Foles usefulness for 2012 is definitely in
question as a QB2 with upside (over most junk
QB2's), after his underwhelming starting debut.
Don't get long-term hysterical over one week,
but short-term hysterical is OK given the lost
cause the Eagles are. I'm not as hopeful of a
2012 breakout for Foles as a crafty redraft
league QB2 insurance policy the rest of the way,
as I was 24-hours ago.
-- Riley Cooper only works if
Nick Foles does. If Foles is going to
struggle the rest of 2012, then Cooper will be
hit & miss in 2012.
-- Ryan Lindley is not NFL starting
QB material -- not in relief this week, not with
a week's practice, not with years of practice. A
Lindley start means FF-death for Andre
Roberts and Larry Fitzgerald.
-- The St. Louis Rams Defense are a
for sure sleeper play versus Arizona in Week-12
facing John Skelton, but are a top-start
if Lindley is starting.
-- I have been howling like a madman for
years (because of the computer scouting ratings)
about someone giving Jalen Parmele a
chance. He finally got one, and had the best
running-effort of any RB versus the
Texans-Defense this year. Chris Johnson
had more (garbage) yards vs. Houston in 2012,
but Parmele ran superbly in a tight football
game. Bet on Parmele over Jennings the rest of
the non-MJD way for the Jags.
-- Bilal Powell had two TDs this
week, but it would appear to be more
circumstantial or an aberration than the sign of
a breakout performance.
-- The Antonio Gates era of Fantasy
greatness, and goodness, is over. He's just
another OK/solid TE who may or may not score a
TD in a given week.
-- Cedric Peerman really looks good
running the ball, and his stat-line this week
was nice. However, a chunk of his 75 yards
rushing in Week-11 came on a 32-yard run off a
-- Our TE deep-sleeper of the week paid
off nicely, as Garrett Graham has two
TDs. I like Graham, but only with Owen
Daniels out of the way. With Daniels back
playing, Graham is part of a solid TE-trio.
Week-11 Version 2.0:
-- Riley Cooper may be the biggest
beneficiary of the Nick Foles uprising.
Cooper posted 13 catches for 240 yards and a TD
in three games as a fill-in starter last season
in Weeks 11-13. This season he began on IR with
a broken collarbone. Cooper is just now getting
back up to speed, and he did score a TD (from
Vick) this past week.
Cooper is a 6'3+, 220+ WR that got lost in the
limited passing-game shuffle with Tebow at
Florida. Cooper is an Eric Decker-Jordy
Nelson-ish type of WR. Faster than you
think, with great hands. Foles and Cooper would
have worked a bunch together in the shadows of
the first-team this year. It is a situation to
watch for instant impact, and long-term
possibilities if you believe that Foles is the
long-term answer (as we do).
-- The Bengals-Defense has
Cassel/Quinn-Palmer-Rivers in the next three
games...it may work for those picking through
the fantasy-defense ruins.
-- Garrett Graham could be the
Texans second best passing-game option after
Andre Johnson, if Owen Daniels is
going to miss time (and Daniels is likely to
miss the Jags game).
-- If Big Ben is done, then
Heath Miller is toast as a high-end Fantasy
Football TE...and Mike Wallace is a very
sketchy play as well.
Week-11 Version 1.0:
-- We've been touting Mohamed Sanu
for a couple of weeks now, and he took another
step forward this week. The Bengals schedule
gets very easy ahead thanks to the AFC West --
KC-OAK-SD in the next three weeks. Sanu can
continue to emerge, and Andy Dalton is
going to be a top-10 QB in that span.
-- A couple of weeks ago I wrote in detail
on why the Denver-Defense was going to
emerge as one of the top defenses in the NFL, as
well as a top play for Fantasy Football for the
rest of 2012. Ta-da!
Note -- I will be going crazy all week as all
the pundits jump on this bandwagon now. You know
where you heard it first...
-- The Seahawks-Defense has a BYE
in Week-11, followed by Tannehill-Cutler-Skelton
ahead. This will be a favorable run.
-- I've been pro-Reggie Bush for
the 2nd-half of 2012, but with an ever shakier
confidence each week. After this week, I'm done.
I haven't lost faith in Bush as a talent, but
more I watch, the more I realize there is some
problem between he and Coach Sherman. Bush
fumbles early, and he's essentially done the
rest of the game. Ryan Tannehill throws
ridiculous passes all game (wound up with 3
INTs), but that's not a problem for coach. You
can't count on Bush for big games ahead, because
you can't count on Sherman. Bush is a "cross
your fingers" play every week now.
-- All I'm saying is "I told you so," that
Danario Alexander was the best WR on the
Chargers the moment he stepped on the field for
them weeks ago. Enjoy the ride as long as you
can, because unfortunately he has a long storied
bout with knee/leg issues. I hope he can run
clean the rest of his career, because our
computer has felt Alexander could have been one
of the NFL greats if not for his multiple knee
-- Hakeem Nicks wouldn't have 14
targets this week if something was wrong with
him. He is a "buy low" candidate for the stretch
-- Coming off their Week-10 BYE's, don't
forget about Beanie Wells possibly coming
off IR. Furthermore, Josh Morgan as the
Redskins #1 WR is something to consider going
forward. Morgan has 10.0 targets in his last two
games and has emerged as an RG3 "fave,"
but it's tentative.
-- I've been crazy for Nick Foles
for weeks, but we all have to remember that he
is still a rookie. Just an awesome one...
Watching Foles in relief of Michael Vick,
you saw some good and bad moments. Keep in mind
that Foles came in cold with the Eagles missing
80-100% of its starting O-Line, and facing one
of the top pass-defenses in the NFL (it's true,
statistically). Foles walked in and started
firing bullets right away. Had Jason Avant
not tried to catch a sure 3rd-down conversion
with his facemask on Foles' initial series, who
knows how that game would have turned out? As
the Eagles fell behind, Foles was forced to
throw and everyone knew it. The Foles INT was
caused by a DeSean Jackson bobble that
was picked out of the air by Cowboys defender.
Foles will be great, but he's a touch-and-go
rookie for Fantasy Football 2012. WAS-CAR ahead
provides a nice beginning. Especially, the
-- Jonathan Stewart is an
investment that will pay-off after Week-11 vs.
Tampa Bay. Facing Denver this week was going to
be tough, and the Bucs will be rough as well.
-- Jarius Wright is not the next
Percy Harvin. The Vikings go on a BYE, and
then Harvin will be back...and Wright will be
-- Some of you may have been unhappy with
banking on our enthusiasm with Donald Jones
in the preseason, but don't ignore the fact that
he has 6.0 rec for 69.5 yards per game for 15.9
PPR FF PPG over the last two weeks. Jones is a
talent, and is finally seeing higher target
levels -- 9.5 pass-targets per game over the
last two games.
-- I could not be any more done with
Pierre Thomas. In fact, I'm staying away
from all the Saints RBs. There is nothing but
heartache to be had. Chris Ivory is a
serious talent, but Mark Ingram
inexplicably received more than double carries
of Ivory this week.
Week-10 Version 2.0:
-- I've not been a huge Brian Hartline
fan (for FF), mostly because of the QBs he has
worked with. However, Ryan Tannehill
throws to him by default a bunch...and Hartline
is coming down with some great catches. Facing
TEN-BUF the next two weeks is going to continue
to make him a nice play. Teams with a lock-down
CB are going to easily cut him off...not
-- James Starks took 17 carries,
but Alex Green (11 carries) looked far
superior as a runner in Week-9. People are down
on Green, but re-watching tape, I like what I
see. I don't like the Packers RB situation. This
is going to get very muddled with Starks, Green,
and when John Kuhn returns.
-- I love Marcel Reece as a
receiving weapon at RB, but I'll jump in with
both feet on Taiwan Jones if
McFadden/Goodson are inactive. Jones is a
inexperienced/unproven/gamble version of
McFadden. BAL-NO ahead, two of the worst
run-defenses in the NFL/FF.
-- Tony Gonzalez has had three dud
games in-a-row, and not much in four of his last
five. He has fully fallen back to earth.
-- Our computer still thinks Brandon
Lloyd is a value play ahead for standard
leagues, and decent for PPR. His acquisition
price is at a 2012 low right about now.
-- Redskins/TE Logan Paulsen is
attracting heat as a waiver pickup, but I'd push
for Brandon Myers (timely after 2 TDs, I
know) as my slower/hands TE hope. More because
RG3 just isn't throwing many TDs passes (6 TDs
in his last 8 games, 4 TDs in his last 6 games).
-- The computer has no interest in Cowboys
BR Lance Dunbar.
-- I had hopes for Pierre Thomas to
be the main carry RB and the Sproles fill-in,
but then Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram
run the ball like they are both Adrian
Peterson to start the MNF game. Thomas did
great as well, but this Saints scene will always
be an RBBC forever (with Brees). Credit to the
Saints for great RB scouting, minus one dumb
draft trade up for Ingram.
Why exactly is
Chris Ivory on the bench for
the Saints? This situation is complete Fantasy
Football mess with Sproles to return in a week
-- Note to those in a deeper roster IDP
league: we don't study the IDP side/strategy as
heavily (plans to expand in the future), so take
this for what it is worth -- take a peek at
Broncos LB Danny Trevathan.
Week-10 Version 1.0:
-- Colts TE Dwayne Allen fully has
my attention now. I've been impressed with the
various glimpses he's shown this year, but
starting in place of injured Coby Fleener
-- Allen was very solid versus Miami this week.
Our computer scouting of Allen saw him more as a
great blocking-TE prospect, not as big of a
receiving threat. However, in this heavy
pass-attempt offense, Allen may be Luck's key
end-zone threat the rest of 2012 (given the
Colts have mostly smaller WRs).
-- The Bears-Defense has been
insane this year for Fantasy Football. It's
likely to come crashing to an end versus HOU and
SF in the upcoming two weeks. That's two very
low turnover QBs to face in the next two games.
-- Russell Wilson is now (4-0) at
home, and has thrown 9 TD/0 INTs in the friendly
confines as well. Everyone is going bonkers for
Luck and RG3 (and rightfully so), but flying
below the radar is perhaps an equally good
rookie QB in Wilson. Wilson has thrown for more
TDs than either Luck or RG3 this season.
-- This is now three games in-a-row with
Reggie Bush below 15 carries in-a-game.
The schedule ahead has more "nice"
opportunities/opponents than not, but Bush is
not a key RB for Coach Mike Sherman...more
and more Daniel Thomas is on the field
for important moments in the game.
I loved Bush weeks
ago, now I am living in fear with him.
-- It's embarrassing how much better
C.J. Spiller looks than Fred Jackson,
but the Bills being the Bills gave Jackson more
opportunities (carries + targets) than Spiller
this week again. At some point, the balance has
to shift to Spiller...no?
-- Jonathan Stewart was a bit of a
letdown this week, but keep in mind this was an
usual game -- the Panthers only had the ball for
24:40 in this contest. Stewart only took 10
carries, and averaged 5.1 yards per carry...and
looked very good. DEN-TB in the next two weeks
will not be easy.
-- Ryan Broyles caught all six of
pass-targets this week, while Titus Young
had two catches on five targets. Broyles is a
talent who can emerge for PPR this season.
-- We touted the Denver-Defense as
a talented one getting ready to pop the rest of
the season. We also felt the Week-9 matchup with
Andy Dalton would just be "OK." Denver
allowed 23 points to Cincy, but did register 5
sacks with a pick. Cam-Rivers-Quinn/Stanzi
coming up the next three weeks.
-- Eli Manning has fallen off the
face of the earth for Fantasy, scoring just 8.6
FF PPG (4 pts pass TD) over the past four games
and completing 54.5% of his passes. He becomes a
nice QB2 cheap grab for insurance coming down
the stretch. As a QB1, he's just about ruined
your season at this point.
-- T.Y. Hilton is pushing past
Donnie Avery as the key non-Reggie Wayne
WR for the Colts. Hilton can be a 5+ catch for
70+ yard WR consistently in this high
-- Mohamed Sanu was a deep-sleeper
for us this week, but had just two catches. You
may not see his one missed target in this game
-- an alley-oop
from three-yards away from the end-zone, a
pass that was open, but Dalton overthrew
him. Sanu has a chance to become a viable
Week-9 Version 2.0:
-- Mike Thomas to Detroit is a
brilliant trade by the Lions, one of the most
underutilized talents of any of the
possession/slot WRs of the past few years. It
also means the Lions are not totally sold on
Ryan Broyles and Titus Young for
2012...and I don't mean that from a talent
sense, but from an injury sense...both have has
issues the last couple years. Thomas is worth a
sniff in a deeper league.
-- I'm really interested to see where two
talented RBs may wind up by the trade deadline
on THU -- LeGarrette Blount and Chris
Ivory. My 10-cent guess would be that Ivory
lands with either Arizona, Green Bay, or St.
Louis (or not traded at all).
My sleeper choice for LeGarrette Blount
would be the NY Jets, with Cincinnati or Dallas
as a possible long-shot along with the RB-needy
If I were an NFL GM, I would make a play for
Chris Ivory or Mike Tolbert on the
cheap. There is no need to waste high draft
picks or big payroll on RBs in the NFL anymore.
Blount and Ivory got people wildly excited at
certain points of their initial opportunities in
the NFL, it's not as if they're all promise with
no history results. Trading away a ton of draft
picks and paying a big salary to a Trent
Richardson is such a waste in this era of
the NFL, when you could land an (example)
undrafted Chris Ivory for close to
Ivory has had seven career games (over 2 years)
with 14 or more carries in a game, and has 690
rushing yards (98.6 yards per game) with four
TDs. He has a career average of 5.0 yards per
carry, with three of his 7 games with 14+
carries resulting in 100+ yard rushing efforts.
Richardson has six career games with 14 or more
carries, and two 100+ yard rushing games and a
3.7 career yards per carry.
I don't dispute that Richardson isn't a better
all-around RB, but I'd rather shuffle in & out
(examples) Ivory, Justin Forsett, and
Mike Tolbert and apply my millions in
payroll saved to other positions.
Those in a dynasty league with a spot to burn
may want to pickup Ivory or Blount, and see what
happens by THU and then drop them if nothing
-- I am like a dog howling at the moon
right about now, but I still am making plays for
Torrey Smith as the price continues to
decline. You've seen what he is capable earlier
this season when he gets the targets -- he is a
top-10 FF WR talent. Torrey is quiet now, but
1-2 hot games and he'll be right back into the
top 10-15. Not many WR talents like Torrey
available at the price he is for most right now.
-- Don't forget about Alshon Jeffery.
Dropped in many redraft leagues due to his
injury, BYE week needs, etc. When he returns, he
is the beneficiary of the over-emphasis defenses
will place on Brandon Marshall. Plus,
Jeffery is a talent.
-- If you buy Ben Tate as a viable
start (when healthy) in 12-14 team leagues, you
should consider Justin Forsett this week
with Tate likely out.
Week-9 Version 1.0:
-- The computer's red-hot takeaway from
Week-8 = the Denver Broncos-Defense for
the rest of 2012. They have faced five top
QBs/offenses this year (Brees, Brady, Big Ben,
Ryan, Schaub/Texans), and got worked by the
teams that can run -- HOU and NE (and many
defenses will get stomped by HOU and NE this
year). The Broncos-D have held all those
QBs under 250 yards passing (except Schaub).
When facing Palmer/Rivers the Broncos-D has
allowed 2 TD/4 INT passing, and 10.0 offensive
The schedule we predicted weeks ago that would
re-launch Peyton/D. Thomas/McGahee also brings a
fast-rising, excellent personnel, young defense
along with it. They squashed Brees last night.
the rest of the way for Fantasy. I am going
all-in where I have the HOU-D already, keeping
HOU, but squatting on DEN for the final weeks
(better matchups than HOU). Where I have
NE-NYJ-MIA, I am switching over to DEN this
week...crossing my fingers against Dalton, and
game-on versus the rest of the schedule.
-- Jonathan Stewart has always been
a RB our computer thought could be a top-5
runner in the NFL. As a starter now, I have a
good/great interest in Stewart. I don't trust
the Panthers RB usage, so I'm not overpaying,
but I would use this quiet game vs. Chicago (and
his quiet season) to grab him for a discount
wherever I could. Stewart ran well in this game,
but the Chicago-Defense was excellent in
opposition. Games versus WAS-DEN ahead should be
a better showing for Stewart.
-- D.J. Davis or Drew Davis
is not a WR prospect of interest. He scored a TD
for Atlanta this week filling in for the injured
Harry Douglas, but he is mediocre (at
best) physically, and was underwhelming in
college for Oregon.
-- Calvin Johnson has had a slow
start to 2012, and has had several near-miss TDs
all year. When you factor in a bad performance
on Monday Night Football in Week-7, followed by
a dud versus Seattle this week (and you should
have anticipated such with the SEA-CBs), now is
the time to get Calvin at as low a value as you
are going to see.
-- I had hoped Antonio Gates could
snag another good game this week to further hype
is trade value, but the stink of the Chargers
passing-game dragged him down to insignificant
again. I gambled, and lost.
-- After a red-hot start, Tony Gonzalez
has had three mediocre (and one phenomenal) game
in his last four games. His numbers are on the
decline, but his overall scoring still shows him
as a top Fantasy Football TE. I wouldn't give
him away, but I would trade up for a Jimmy
Graham if a deal fell your way.
-- Heath Miller is a legit top-3
Fantasy Football TE the rest of 2012. The
pass-targets and red-zone looks have been
screaming it for a couple of weeks. Unlike
"flash in the pan" Fantasy TEs like Brent
Celek or Dennis Pitta or Martellus
Bennett...Miller (who I also thought would
be a flash) has the upcoming schedule and
current trending of a TE who will stay
consistent (and has been in 2012).
-- The fact that Danario Alexander
is now seeing targets for the Chargers, along
with Dante Rosario, means another small
hit to the limited amount of end-zone targets
available for Malcom Floyd and Antonio
-- Kenny Britt had a total of 45
yards with a TD called back on two offensive
pass-interference penalties this week. Britt's
stat lines have been frustrating the lasy two
weeks, but he has had several near-miss big
plays...including two TDs in two weeks called
back on legit P.I.'s by him.
-- Sebastian Janikowski may be the
best Kicker play for the rest of FF 2012. He has
five of his next seven games at home. Janikowski
now has three games in-a-row with double-digit
-- Chris Johnson just had his two
easy games, with CHI-MIA-BYE ahead you should
try to make your move for great value right
-- JAC-MIN is a nice schedule of
run-defenses ahead for Mikel Leshoure. We
were beginning to get giddy on Leshoure after
the SEA Week-8, but this odd pattern of RB usage
with Joique Bell in this game (and other
games), as well as a Kevin Smith
goal-line carry has us tempered a bit.
-- You had a window to trade Josh
Gordon for a decent value last week, hope
you took advantage of it.
-- Cecil Shorts is a potential star
slot/possession/Antonio Brown-type WR, only
stuck on a poor passing team. He is obviously a
worthy BYE-week fill-in, and Flex.
-- Mike Wallace has had three quiet
Fantasy scoring games in his last four games.
However, there is a Big Ben shift taking place
to Wallace over Antonio Brown...and it's
something you should try to take advantage of
ahead as the Steelers have a great schedule the
rest of FF 2012.
In the past four games, Wallace has received 9.0
pass-targets per game, Brown with 8.5...and +0.5
spread to Wallace.
In the first three games (pre-BYE) of 2012,
Brown was the main targets with 9.7 pass-targets
per game, and Wallace 7.3...a -2.4 pass-target
deficit to Wallace.
Wallace is becoming Big Ben's go-to WR over
Brown, there should be a Fantasy Football
scoring payday to go with that.
-- OK, I give up on getting excited by
Alex Green. Three games in-a-row with 20+
carries and 51.3 yards per game rushing
delivered. He has had every opportunity to break
out (especially against JAC), but has not. There
is little reason to believe it will change
against Arizona next week.
Week-8 = 2.0 additional notes in no
-- The Jets-Defense may be a sneaky
pickup, as I see them available in a few 12-team
for the rest of FF 2012.
-- The computer thinks Mikel Leshoure
is ready to pop beginning Week-9. Use the Week-7
Monday Night mediocrity, and fear-monger the
Week-8 matchup with Seattle to make a bargain
deal before the breakout.
-- The computer thinks Mike Wallace
is about to pop, along with Big Ben...from
now until the rest of the FF season.
-- Of course, you have to make a play for
Rashad Jennings (assuming you are low
person on the waiver totem pole), but for the
record -- the computer has never thought he was
a talent, and the schedule ahead is very
daunting/choppy. GB-DET-IND-HOU...no thanks.
Claim to trade is all I would so. I don't have
priority anyway, nor would I spend money on a
waiver-bid for him, unless I was completely in
despair at RB.
-- Ryan Broyles is a far superior
talent to Titus Young, and really is a
different kind of WR. Young is a little more
one-trick pony...vertical, leap up and catch.
Broyles is a true slot WR, a combination of
speed & power that is rare among "small WRs." I
don't know if Broyles emerges this week, or at
all in 2012...but long term, he has the metrics
of a NFL superstar (with a good/great QB). The
only thing I will guarantee in this...Titus
Young will be injured within the next three
games. He is a very fragile WR, not a WR that
can deal with a heavy workload/pounding (so says
-- It's almost Vincent Brown return
time in San Diego, but that doesn't excite me.
Philip Rivers is in serious decline, and Brown
is not an elite WR prospect...just good useful.
Who knows how long his injury lingers? I would
have to be out of options to waste a roster spot
waiting for Brown...I'd rather have the
aforementioned Ryan Broyles to gamble on.
-- The more I see of Pittsburgh/Heath
Miller tape, the more I believe his is going
to stay among the top-5 or so Fantasy Football
Week-8 = 1.0 in no particular order:
-- I'm the biggest Darren McFadden
cheerleader on the planet, even though I didn't
draft him in any draft (you know I don't waste
my first-round picks on RBs!). However, I have
been an occasional buyer on the cheap
mid-season. I've been a fan of what I've seen on
tape...a lot of "almost" big runs. I think I'm
at about 25 "almost" big plays and counting this
year, with one "actual" big play that happened.
I'm done lusting after DMC. Actually, I'm not
done...I've just lowered the acquisition price,
that I'd be willing to pay, to a junk bond
status. There are no holes for DMC to run
through. Whatever the issue, if it didn't happen
against Atlanta and Jacksonville in successive
weeks, there's something wrong...and whatever it
is, I ain't paying a lot for it.
-- Pierre Thomas had a season-high
13 carries in Week-7...in fact, that's highest
carries he's had in a game since 2010. The
Saints have finally come to their senses on
Mark Ingram, and the Saints are now shifting
to the most talented runner they have.
DEN-PHI-ATL ahead is a decent run to use PT if
needed. He may even "break out" a bit in there.
-- Very quietly, as TEs are falling apart
in Fantasy (Vernon Davis, Pitta, Rudolph, Celek,
etc.), Antonio Gates has more value than
-- The Green Bay-Defense has
Gabbert/Henne and Skelton/Kolb for the next two
weeks. They may be the best defensive play for
the next two weeks for those in daily leagues. *There
is now a slight pause with Charles Woodson
out for a while, but still a solid play ahead.
-- I'd sell LaRod Stephens-Howling
as fast as possible if someone was excited by
the LSH possibilities. The schedule is rough
ahead = SF-GB-BYE, plus Beanie will be coming
-- We've been talking about Cecil
Shorts in a positive light as a talent who
is kind of stuck in purgatory with Jacksonville.
However, Shorts was the recipient of 10 targets
this week, which is a substantial shift toward
him. He is becoming the main WR weapon for
Jacksonville...for what that's worth. Although,
Shorts now has 3 TDs this season.
-- Chris Johnson has another great
matchup in Week-8 with IND, but then he goes
down hill with CHI-MIA-BYE after that.
-- The usage, or lack thereof, of Kyle
Rudolph is going to lead to more days like
he had in Week-7. Don't rest assured that your
TE issues are solved with Rudolph the rest of
-- We loved Leonard Hankerson
coming out of college, but haven't liked what
we've seen coming off hip surgery. Assuming
Garcon is going to be gone for an extended
period, Hank is as plausible as any of the
Redskins WRs to step up. We're cautiously
optimistic on him.
-- Vick Ballard is another "sell,"
if someone is excited. However, next week
against TEN is a favorable matchup. If Donald
Brown is healthy/slated to play, I'd bet on
Brown in Week-8.
-- Add, Josh Gordon to the "sell
while hot" list. Gordon has 7 catches in his
last three games, on 22 pass-target. A dismal
connection percentage. Gordon is a flash in the
pan based on these number trends.
-- Two players who just look (to the naked
scouting eye) like they have gotten very slow
and have become just "average" players are
Tony Romo and Miles Austin. The
"backbone" of this offense is rapidly becoming
antiquated. Austin's week-7 game with a TD may
be a final window to move him for higher value.
-- Fred Davis is lost for the
season. Logan Paulsen led the Redskins in
receiving yards in his place, but Paulsen is not
a Fantasy Football sleeper. He's a converted
Assuming the Redskins sign Chris Cooley,
I wouldn't get too excited there either. The
Redskins let him go, and no other team was
-- I give up on Torrey Smith
(kinda). The Ravens seem not to have a clue of
how to get Smith the ball in better situations.
Smith had been under-targeted for weeks, but
this week Torrey saw 13 targets...but most of
them impossible to catch. The Ravens offense is
lost; Pitta and Torrey are wasting away...again.
-- Brian Quick keeps seeing
red-zone targets, and getting near-miss TDs each
week. At some point, he is going to hit with a
big game...if you find yourself looking for a
desperation WR in weeks ahead for deeper
-- Yes, that was Shane Vereen
taking all the action in the first series for
the Pats this week. As you may know, I've been a
giant pro-Vereen advocate...so you think I would
be excited? I didn't even blink when I saw this.
I resigned myself weeks ago that the Pats RB
situation is going to muddled all year, and
probably into 2013+. It's why I recommended you
sell your Stevan Ridley stock weeks ago.
-- Alex Green took 20 carries
against a suddenly stout Rams run-defense. Green
should have good/great numbers the next two
weeks with JAC-ARI before a Week-10 BYE.
10/16 additional, in no particular order...
-- Some of you woke up with suddenly
semi-valuable TE in Antonio Gates. Before
you run off giddy at some new-found value to
trade it off...ask yourself this -- what TEs are
better to have than Gates going forward? Graham,
Gronk, Gonzo, V. Davis (maybe, have you seen the
last few weeks), Rudolph (maybe?). If you deal
him, keep in mind, he has more value than you
think -- your perspective is off because you've
been "long suffering" with Gates all year.
Outside of about 3-4 people, everyone sees Gates
as possible salvation right now. Keeping him
another week is not crazy, on a number of
levels...the least of which is if he scores
again next week, he will be "on fire" for TE
-- Cedric Peerman is not a crazy RB
gamble. BJGE is not good, and Brian Leonard
is stiff...and the true-talent is gone with
injury (Bernard Scott). Peerman is not a
star, but he is incredibly fast, and has been
very persistent/stuck with the Bengals (and they
with him) for years. He could win a split, if
not a starting role at some point, by attrition.
-- A semi-quiet game for Demaryius
Thomas, as teams try to double cover him --
this may be a value dip week to make a move on
him. The schedule ahead is going to propel
Peyton-Thomas-Decker and probably McGahee to
near the tops of Fantasy output for the rest of
the Fantasy Football regular season.
-- Deep, deep, deep PPR leagues...UDFA WR
Josh Cooper was Brandon Weeden's
favorite target in college. Relationship has
some value, and the fact that all the Browns WRs
are dreadful. Cooper is a great "hands" type WR,
not a star.
-- I'm still a buyer on Julio Jones.
His pass-targets continue to be high, red-zone
looks high, and his schedule is going to
continue to push all Falcons offensive players
(except Jacquizz) for weeks/all season.
-- If you even sense John Skelton
will start this week...the Minnesota-Defense
might be the play of the year this week (and
they have legs for a couple weeks).
-- We're about one more loss away (if it
is in their next game) from Nick Foles
and Ricky Stanzi, I have a feeling. That
doesn't mean a ton for redraft leagues, but
Dynasty league owners your clock is ticking.
-- The Week-7 CLE RB has value if it's not
Trent due to facing Indy. I'd bet on Montario
Hardesty over Chris Ogbonnaya.
Hardesty was once a Metrics "like," but injuries
took his career away seemingly. He looked much
better last week.
In no particular order...
-- Every time I watch the Rams of late;
Chris Givens is making bigger plays and
getting more targets. Givens had 2 catches on 9
targets through his first three games of 2012.
In his last three games, Givens has 5 catches
for 188 yards and a TD on 15 targets. He has
three straight weeks with a play of 50 yards or
longer. Read a full NFL Draft scouting report of
www.collegefootballmetrics.com. The short
version is -- he is useful, speedy, and an
-- Andre Johnson was barely open
all night versus Green Bay...even in the
prevent-ish type defenses. As we've noted for
weeks, as have others, the Andre days as an
elite NFL/FF WR are long gone.
-- With the Bucs schedule ahead of
NO-MIN-OAK-SD-CAR, Vincent Jackson and
Mike Williams are going to continue to be
good/great Fantasy Football starts for the next
-- Remember who was saying for weeks that
Russell Wilson was playing much better
than the stats were indicating, and that a pop
might be coming to a higher level of Fantasy
Football viability. I just didn't think it was
going to happen this week. Russell Wilson
might become a poor man's RG3.
-- I'd jump on Alex Green if
someone was lukewarm on him after the Sunday
night box score hits. He ran the ball tough
against a top run-defense. The schedule ahead of
STL-JAC-ARI should be a bit more friendly.
-- Denarius Moore is very good, but
he always seems to be derailed by injury or
Jacoby Ford returning. Keep an eye on both.
If neither occurs, Moore will be a top-20
Fantasy Football WR for the next few weeks.
-- Chris Johnson will get at least
100+ yard rushing game in the next two weeks, if
not accomplishing it twice facing BUF-IND in
Weeks 7-8. Then CJ comes crashing down against
-- We tried to warn you about Vick
-- I wrote about it in greater detail, but
Ben Roethlisberger may make a push toward
a top-3 Fantasy Football QB the next few weeks
with CIN-WAS-NYG-KC ahead. Big Ben has
pass-attempts per game at the highest of his
career, and growing. When Ben has thrown 40+
times in a game this year (3 times) he is
scoring 22+ PPG for Fantasy Football (4 pts per
With the Ben take-off, our computer also thinks
Mike Wallace may drive his scoring among
the top-5 for WRs.
-- Josh Gordon hit on another long
TD this week, and I am still not a believer.
However, he is better than our statistical
scouting (of which we thought he would do almost
nothing in the NFL). Gordon hits on a big
strike, then disappears in games. It's a good
thing for the Browns, but not going to be
consistent for FF.
-- Honestly, I don't know what you do with
Dez Bryant now? We've not seen this type
of output from Bryant, back-to-back 95+ yard
games and now a multi-TD game. Bryant has the
talent. Our computer recognizes that, but it
also recognizes Bryant has been an inconsistent
dud for Fantasy Football for three years...until
now. Which Bryant comes to the party next week,
and weeks after? The data says he will flame
back out, but next week against Carolina is
-- William Powell looked the best
of the rookie debut RBs in Week-6 (over Green
and Ballard). However, facing MIN-SF-GB-BYE the
next four weeks...I'm dealing him if anyone is a
-- Christian Ponder is not ready
for that next level of Fantasy Football QB just
yet. Facing one of the worst defenses in the NFL
(due to injuries), Ponder coulda/shoulda had 2-3
TD passes in the 1st-quarter. Instead, three FGs
to start the game...ultimately costing them the
game. One part Ponder's issues, one part
Leslie Frazier enslaved to Adrian
Peterson not being able to go three plays
without touching the ball.
-- Donnie Avery had 12 targets this
week, making it five straight games with 8+
pass-targets. If only he would have caught more
-- Speaking of things we cannot
reconcile...I have no idea how Torrey Smith
can be so good, and get so little targets. Smith
is a top-5 NFL/FF talent, being targeted like an
insignificant WR. The data would say that Cam
Cameron is going to win out, leaving Torrey
as a perpetual hair pull for FF owners trying
figure out what to do with him week-to-week.
-- OK, I quit on Dennis Pitta
(although I will still keep him as my TE2 where
he's been). I quit on thinking "this could be
the season." Pitta is super talented, but
again...go with Cam Cameron over our
computer. The Ravens clearly need more throws to
ancient Anquan Boldin, and crafty FB in
the flat passes to the incredibly slow Vonta
Leach. Two lucky wins the last two weeks. My
son's 3rd grade football team had a more
-- It doesn't matter if Kevin Kolb
is out for weeks, or bounces back to start next
week. He has proven our long-held point that he
is a viable, potentially very good/great NFL
QB...and not a joke. All that doesn't matter
because I'm officially done with Kolb for
Fantasy Football 2012 (as a BYE week fill-in
option), because he cannot get any level of
protection and is constantly running for his
-- If Demarco Murray is out for
long, I like Philip Tanner over Felix
Jones as a sleeper play next week versus
Carolina, but the smart money is on Felix.
2.0 adds, in no particular order
-- In the 1.0 version (below), I am mad at
Antonio Gates. He has been a huge 2012
let down...so I'm angry. However, re-watching
this weeks game, and looking at several other
games along with the current TE "state of the
union"...Gates may be worth a look going forward
as people chuck him away. There are numerous
near-miss "big things" that keep happening with
him. For the price, and the other options, I
wouldn't ditch him or ignore him as a gamble
-- As much as we do not like Colin
Kaepernick as an NFL QB, for one week with
Alex Smith possibly ruled out, he is
worth a look among the QB rubble if you need BYE
week help. He could run for 100 yards and pass
for 50 yards.
-- Start acquiring C.J. Spiller on
the cheap. Current owners don't give up. It may
take another week or two, but the Bills have to
go heavy Spiller to save their jobs/season. The
only time the Bills have been relevant this year
is with Spiller as the main RB.
-- Deep, deep, deep RB gamble...Knowshon
Moreno. He's buried among the in-actives
now. Teams like Arizona and Cincinnati need RB
help, and more teams will join that list as RBs
fall apart. The Broncos might as well get
something for him with the emergence of
Ronnie Hillman as a #2 RB.
-- The best schedule for a Fantasy
Football Defense ahead for the next 6-7 weeks is
the New England Patriots-Defense. More on
that in detail this week.
-- Hakeem Nicks cannot be any
cheaper than right now? Use the Barden, Nixon,
Randle fears to lower that price. All those WRs
are nice, but Nicks is a whole other level.
Kinda like people thought Andre Brown
would make Ahmad Bradshaw a memory. Not
-- Our computer has thought Alex Green
could be a good/great RB all along. He may get
his chance at a start this week (likely). I just
wish his first chance wasn't against at Houston.
-- I'd still buy Jordy Nelson.
Price is low to acquire now.
-- Andre Johnson looks like a WR
who has gone from a "A" or "A+" WR, to a solid
"B". We've said it for weeks, I'd hop off that
train if someone was a buyer.
-- Don't give up on Donnie Avery in
that high pass-attempt Colts offense. Avery has
never had less than 8 targets in a game this
-- The Cardinals main RB will absolutely
not be LaRod Stephens-Howling. The most
likely main carry RB for the Cardinals while
Well/Williams are out (besides Knowshon
Moreno) is William Powell, who is a
scrappy, decent RB the Cardinals coaches like.
The more talented (computer's opinion),
experienced RB is Alfonso Smith. Gun to
my head, I guess Smith this week. Most likely is
a RBBC, but the one who can take a full workload
right away is Smith. The Cardinals O-Line can't
block anyway, so I'm not sure it matters...
1.0 Version, in no particular order...
-- Kyle Rudolph keeps pulling
out a TD in most games so far this season, but
his usage overall during these games is a
"yawn." For the last 3-4 weeks, Rudolph seems to
be the target of two kinds of passes: (1) a
short, almost screen-type of pass that Rudolph
turns into a 3-4 yard gain (he is too slow to do
much with short passes). (2) Ponder floats a
wounded duck to him in the end-zone, and somehow
he comes down with it. Rudolph is not yet going
to the "next level" among Fantasy Football TEs;
he is a "sexy" version (because he is "new") of
Heath Miller or old-school Todd Heap.
Good player in a great situation with Minnesota
to score short TDs, but I am seeing nothing that
shows the Vikings have him as a dynamic part of
the offense yet.
-- QB woes? No one available? Big
Ben may be a little cheaper right now, and
faces TEN-CIN-WAS-NYG-KC ahead with his BYE-week
past him. With that, Mike Wallace and
Antonio Brown should be pretty salty for the
next few weeks as well.
-- If you buy into this Josh Gordon
blip, I disown you. A broken coverage long TD,
followed by 5-6 miss-targets before a TD late.
Don't place a bet here. I know he has more TDs
than Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson,
and Antonio Brown this year, but still...
-- I am a Peyton Manning fan,
but the last few weeks of output is an
over-hyped head-fake masking his talent erosion.
Is every game going to be the Broncos go down by
a million, Peyton is ineffective, defenses go
into an early prevent defense, and Peyton
gobbles up stats dump passing his way
(fruitlessly) back into games? It's great for
Fantasy Football production, but he is by no
means "back." Nor will he ever be. He is a
crafty veteran leader. When the games matter
(1st-half), the Broncos are getting bum-rushed
and Peyton is struggling.
That whole Peyton-theory is why our computer
went bonkers for Demaryius Thomas a few
weeks ago as a projected top-5 Fantasy Football
WR the rest of 2012. You saw it front and center
in this game -- all Peyton can do to try to open
up the field is chuck in Thomas's general
direction...Peyton can't do that with Decker,
Tamme et al. After this week's performance, you
have little chance of acquiring Thomas cheaper
now. This story is going to hold up all
-- The Broncos have a fairly easy
schedule the rest of 2012 now, so it would also
be wise to make a cheap investment in Willis
McGahee, coming off a poor performance in
the nationally televised afternoon game this
week. The Broncos will be high scoring/producing
the rest of 2012, which should give McGahee a
bunch of short TDs opportunities.
We thought Ryan Williams
might break through a bit for Weeks 5 & 6, but
the Cardinals O-Line is so bad...we are shifting
positions. In Dynasty Leagues, you may consider
letting the next couple weeks of schedule play
out and totally wreck any value he has...then
swoop in at the bottom and squat on him for
2013. He is running the ball well, but that
O-Line is a train wreck. I'm sure Arizona will
address that next year. We're not huge fans of
Williams in general, but the situation and the
price tag may make it logical to take a
lottery-ticket on snatching a 15+ carry-a-game
RB in 2013...maybe. GONE FOR THE YEAR
on injury. Has been too injury prone to worry
-- Michael Crabtree just gave
you a nice output game to get those hidden
Crabtree-"lust-ers" a chance to "steal" him from
you. Deal him while he's hot. Nice output
against Buffalo means nothing. The 49ers
schedule of defenses gets very difficult from
here on in. Crabtree's targets aren't growing.
He just had a nice game...against Buffalo. Use
it to your advantage, because he goes back to
his normal mediocrity for most of the rest of
-- You might wake up to see an awful
Jimmy Graham stat line, but if you didn't
see the game -- Graham had an issue with his
ankle. Early on he missed a little time getting
re-taped, and played on less snaps than
normal...mostly used as a decoy while Brees
abused San Diego with Marques Colston and
Devery Henderson. If Graham goes on sale,
those without him, now is the time to go
-- Those that wake up to another
Antonio Gates disaster, note that the towel
should be officially hurled into the ring. This
is a Philip Rivers issue more than it is
Gates issue. As we have said for a couple of
weeks (and in the preseason draft guide), the
Chargers schedule of defenses to face turns from
previously easy to difficult ahead. Philip
Rivers is "done," more than Peyton
Manning is. Rivers is not a
pretender/possible elite QB any longer...he has
become a dump off to the RB specialist now. He
is very shaky getting the ball down-field, which
kills Gates and Malcom Floyd. To add
insult to injury...Gates has his hands on a TD
in the back of the end-zone (again), and a
defender popped the ball loose. Gates also had a
40+ yard catch late turned back on a very
All that said, Gates is not a bad TE-2
gamble. He has been circling the wagons for a TD
in most every game this year, but something
slapstick always happens to prevent it.
-- Two weaker games in-a-row for MJD...it's
not a bad time to kick the tires on an
acquisition if someone is panicking.
OAK-GB-DET-IND lies ahead after the Week-6 BYE.
He'll be fine, he always is.
-- If anyone would like to apologize
for doubting the computer last year when it said
something wasn't right with Cam Newton,
feel free to email your apologies and
sob-stories this week. We'll work out some kind
of penance. I wouldn't panic too hard. The
schedule softens up a bit, and he can return to
running his way back to your Fantasy Football
hearts. From an NFL perspective...I wonder when
someone will admit Newton might be a colossal
mistake as a franchise QB? Please, all I ask,
remember it was me/the computer that perilously
fought against 99.999% of society on this all
year last year.
-- People are getting whipped up on the
Rams-Defense for Fantasy Football after
their big game against Arizona, and solid start
to the season. Rodgers-Brady-BYE-A. Smith
ahead...I want no part of that. I also want no
part of GB-NE-BYE-SF-NYJ-ARI-SF ahead for
Steven Jackson either.
-- Pierre Garcon has moved from
blazing hot, to people doubting. I would jump on
him as a value if he comes cheaply. For those
current owners, stay patient.