Twitter @FFMetricstags — 2013 Fantasy Football Montee Ball dynasty A.J. Jenkins sleeper Wes Welker dynasty Knowshon Moreno injury
– I guess it’s time for everyone to get hysterical on Montee Ball (13 carries for 117 yards, 1 rec. for 4 yards). He had a 100+ yard day, so let the triumphant return of the RB messiah begin!
Ball had a solid game, but was helped by a 45-yard run in the 2nd-half…a play where he went off-tackle through a wide-open hole and just kept running untouched. At the very end of the game, to run out the clock, Ball had a 28-yard run. Two plays, 73 yards rushing. 11 carries for 44 yards outside of that. I credit him for the nice runs, but there was no emergence here—just a good RB running through a hole.
Montee Ball does make me slightly afraid for Knowshon Moreno’s (15 carries for 18 yards, 4 rec. for 72 yards and 1 TD on 5 targets) ability to have huge upside games in the final weeks, as Ball gets more time—even if more garbage time.
Of course, I’ve been mildly afraid of that for weeks, and all Moreno does is keep producing. This whole thing is quite remarkable—Moreno is the 3rd-best non-PPR RB (behind Charles, AP) YTD, and is the 3rd best PPR RB (Charles, Forte). You thought we were crazy ranking Moreno ahead of Stevan Ridley for Fantasy Football Drafts in the preseason, didn’t you? That move paid for the 2013 FFM Draft Guide right there! You remember Stevan Ridley? The guy who was a healthy scratch in Week 13, standing on the sidelines like a goof with a ball tucked into his arm pit? Yes, that guy. Remember a few years ago when The Computer said Shane Vereen was the future for the Patriots, not Ridley? Is this the Patriots recap or Broncos-Chiefs?
– Let me say this: We all undervalued Alex Smith (26-42 for 293 yards, 2 TD/1 INT). Not for FF, but maybe in that way too, but mostly as an NFL QB. Some of the younger QBs may go on to surpass Smith in talent and wisdom—but there aren’t many QBs that I’d want to lead my NFL team right now over Smith. He is a brilliant QB. Not a Peyton-Brees, gaudy output guy, but he is a beyond brilliant game-manager—and I don’t use that term negatively.
When we first produced our QB scouting models a few years ago, Alex Smith was one of the highest rated QB prospects we’ve had in the last decade…we kinda looked at that rank as a system “miss,” at that time. Now, I don’t think it was at all. I know it wasn’t. Smith is 30-8-1 in his last 39 regular-season games, and a near-miss trip to a Super Bowl. He nearly pulled this game out with a terrific late drive as well…despite losing trusted Avery and Fasano down the stretch.
– What happened to Wes Welker (3 rec. for 38 yards on 5 targets)? In the past 4 games, Welker has averaged a lowly 4.1 FF PPG (8.6 PPR) on 4.5 rec. for 40.5 yards and 0.0 TDs. We should have all seen this coming. You just cannot bounce back from a lizard eating your legs as quickly as he attempted to…that’s just science, not opinion.
You know you just sung that in your head.
– A.J. Jenkins (2 rec. for 30 yards on 3 targets) is our choice “out of nowhere” Fantasy WR for Week 14. Here is the clip that will be posted on our Week 14 projection page:
Up until last week, former #1 Draft pick (of the 49ers) A.J. Jenkins had 2 career catches for 28 yards over two seasons. Jenkins had been branded a high-pick bust…and that’s that. However, Jenkins exceeded his career tally last week with a 2 catch for 30 yards performance. It wasn’t that Jenkins had a couple garbage catches to achieve this ‘great’ milestone in his career–he actually mattered in this game…and that’s where my Spidey-senses are tingling a bit…
On the Chiefs’ final drive against Denver, they embarked on a 92-yard drive (and ended up 13 yards short). Donnie Avery was nicked up–and A.J. Jenkins entered the game for him. On 3rd & 14, from this own 4-yard line, Alex Smith threw a prayer to AJJ 26 yards down the field. AJJ leapt up to make the catch and crashed to the ground for a critical 1st-down. His greatest moment as a pro. His next catch, of only 4 yards, is what really has me semi-excited…
The Chiefs drove down the field, and into the red-zone with time evaporating. On 3rd & 8 from the Denver 17, a bubble screen was designed to A.J. Jenkins. Smith, uncharacteristically, threw the ball very low. AJJ reached down, made the catch, and raced up-field for 4 yards. AJJ was delayed because he had to stop his momentum to reach down for the catch. How low? The replay officials stopped play to review if the ball hit turf first, or he made the catch–he did. Had that throw been on the money; hitting AJJ in stride–it is possible that he could have followed a wall of blockers for a 1st-down…or a TD. Here’s the point though: In an absolutely critical moment, the Chiefs designed a play to get AJJ the ball, and let him do his thing. Desperate? Maybe. I see it as (a) some level of confidence (b) a recognition that he may be the most special WR on the team…play-making-wise.
I am highly interested to see if this is a blip–or if this is the beginning of a mild AJJ emergence. We have graded Jenkins highly, and we’re as shocked, and as scouting-dumb as anyone on this bust so far. Maybe it won’t be a bust after all…
*College Football Metrics.com subscribers, the A.J. Jenkins scouting report from 2012 is still available for review
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