Archive for the ‘Fantasy Football’ Category

By Chris Bates

          This week in fantasy football there are numerous pick-ups you can add to your team due to multiple injuries.  Listed below are the players that I think will have the greatest impact.

Delone Carter, RB, IND.   Carter was the only bright spot in the Colts embarrassing loss to the Saints.  Joseph Addai re-aggravated a hamstring injury that has been bothering him leaving the door open for Carter.  10 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown are the numbers for Carter in last week’s game and with the Colts pass offense struggling, Carter should see an increased workload.  He is a solid add and based on different matchups is a nice flex-play for your team.

Jabar Gaffney, WR, WSH.  Santana Moss is now out 5-7 weeks with a broken hand suffered in last week’s game against the Panthers.  Gaffney becomes the #1 receiver for Mike Shanahan and quarterback John Beck.  Fred Davis will benefit the most from this, he should see the most targets.  Gaffney is a solid play.

Alfonso Smith, RB, ARZ.  Beanie Wells is doubtful this week with a sprained knee and Arizona is expected to give Smith carries.  LaRod Stephens-Howling is only a good pickup (had 76 yards and 1 touchdown receiving last week).  Smith has upside here, especially if Wells is going to be out for a little while.

Ben Tate, RB, HOU.  Despite Arian Foster’s huge day, the Texans were still committed to giving Tate some carries.  He had 15 carries for 104 yards in the Texans blow-out win over the Titans.  Maybe because the game was a blowout that Tate saw more carries, but he is worth an add to see what happens in the upcoming weeks.

Roy Helu, RB, WSH.    Tim Hightower is not out for the season after suffering a Torn ACL last week vs. Carolina.  Helu and Ryan Torain are both expected to see carries and in Mike Shanahan’s offense you never know which running back will see more playing time.  Helu is a solid back and a solid play.

Antonio Brown, WR, PIT.   Brown received a team-high nine targets and had a career day catching 7 passes for 102 yards.  Hines Ward had to leave the game with an undisclosed injury and if Ward misses any time, Brown takes a significant rise in fantasy value along with Mike Wallace.

Christian Ponder, QB, MIN.  Ponder played well in his first career start against the Packers.  He threw for 212 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions but was very mobile in the pocket and avoided several sacks.  With Adrian Peterson at running back, the passing game will open up for Ponder. 

Michael Jenkins, WR. MIN.   Jenkins led the Vikings in targets last week with 8 and connected with Ponder on a 72 yard touchdown reception finishing the game with 3 receptions for 112 yards.  Yes Percy Harvin is still there, but it’s clear that Ponder has a nice repoir with Jenkins.  Look for Jenkins as a solid bye-week fill in/flex-play.

Below is a list of players to start for this week:

Start

DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL.  No, I am not saying to start him just because of last week’s breakout performance.  I am saying start him based on this week’s matchup against the Eagles.  Philadephia is 23rd against the run, Murray was brilliant against the league’s worse rushing defense in St. Louis but he ran hard and over people for a lot of those yards.  Look for Murray to have another big game vs. the Eagles. 

Jackie Battle, RB, KC.  Battle is clearly the #1 running back for the Chiefs.  Yes Dexter McCluster had a season high 10 carries but Battle received 16 and had 76 yards.  He has upside, this week faces division rival San Diego who is 21st vs. the run.

Bengals D/ST.  A very favorable matchup this week against the Seahawks.  Pete Carroll doesn’t know who his quarterback is and Seattle is ranked 31st in total offense.  The Bengals have the 2nd best defense overall in the NFL so far this season.  Look for a lot of turnovers and alot of points from Cincy’s defense.

Mike Wallace, WR. PIT.  With Hines Ward expected out with an undisclosed injury, Wallace becomes the clear-cut #1 target for Ben Roethlisberger.  Wallace has been the favorite target of Big Ben all season but with the news of Ward, Wallace should have an even greater impact.

Brandon Lloyd, WR. STL.  Lloyd definitely made an impact in his first game with the Rams.  He was targeted a team-high 12 times and caught 6 passes for 74 yards.  That was with A.J. Feeley throwing to him.  Sam Bradford is a much better quarterback and Lloyd’s value should rise when Bradford is back under center for St. Louis.

Sit

LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI.  The Cowboys have the NFL’s best rushing defense, having not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.  Dallas held Steven Jackson to 60 yards last week, a pretty accomplished running back.  McCoy has been excellent this season but if Michael Vick continues to struggle in the passing game, the Cowboys will make Vick’s arm beat them and not Philly’s run game.

Sidney Rice, WR, SEA.  Pete Carroll has not decided on who his quarterback this week will be and it won’t matter.  The Seahawks have a tough matchup this week against the Bengals who are 5th in the NFL versus the pass.  Rice will receive a lot of double teams and different looks causing for a sub-par day.  Keep him out of your lineup.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE.  Hernandez has been strong since his return to the lineup and the Patriots are coming off a bye.  This week they have a matchup with the Steelers and safety Troy Polamalu, who will be covering Hernandez closely.  Look for Hernandez to have a quiet day but Rob Gronkowski to be productive.

Tim Tebow, QB, DEN.  Take away the final 5:37 in the game against the Dolphins and Tebow would have done nothing.  2 touchdowns and a 2 point conversion in those final minutes allowed Tebow to have a productive fantasy day.  Things will be different this week against Ndamukong Suh and the Detroit Lions.  The Broncos offensive line is not very good and Tebow will be facing pressure all day.  I don’t think he can escape the pressure that much this week.

Montario Hardesty.   Peyton Hillis may play this week and despite Hardesty’s 95 rushing yards last week, it took him 33 carries to do it.  He didn’t get in the endzone in an ugly game vs. the Seahawks and this week he faces the 49ers who are 2nd against the run.  Not a good matchup at all.

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    By Chris Bates

             This week’s matchups in the National Football League provide some interesting plays in Fantasy Football.  For those of you that don’t know, the Denver Broncos are on a bye this week but when they come off the bye, they will have a new quarterback.  Kyle Orton is no longer the starter, its Tebow time in Denver! 

               I think Tebow is worth a pick up in leagues where he is available (if not already scooped up with waivers being processed this morning).  I don’t think he is an every week starter for your team but he is a viable bye-week fill in so why not scoop him up and see what kind of production he gives the Broncos.  In his 3 starts last season, he had a rushing touchdown in all 3 games and had 1 rushing and passing in last week’s game vs. the Chargers when he came off the bench to replace a struggling Orton.  Tebow is not just 1 player I think is worth an add, here is my list of pick-ups this week:

        Jackie Battle, RB, Chiefs.  He led the Chiefs in carries last week against the Colts gaining 119 yards on 19 carries.  The formerUniversity of Houston star is a hot waiver wire pick up because of the running back situation in Kansas City.  The chiefs don’t think veteran Thomas Jones can carry the load by himself and they believe Dexter McCluster is too small to be an every down back. Battle was impressive in the NFL draft combine, posting a 4.42 40-yard dash and was a standout at Houston rushing for 2,120 yards and 31 touchdowns in his 4 year career in college.  The Chiefs have already said they plan to give Battle a more increased workload next week against the Oakland Raiders.  He is not a weekly start for your fantasy team but is a good option for a bye-week fill in if you have somebody like Fred Jackson (who leads fantasy RB’s in points in standard leagues) on a bye next week.

       David Nelson, WR, Bills.   With the news that Buffalo’s #2 reciever Donald Jones is out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain, Nelson becomes a great pick up in an explosive Bills offense.  Buffalo will still be relying heavily on Fred Jackson but the 6’5″ Nelson is a big target for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw to.  Although Nelson has only had 4 catches combined in his last 3 games, he did give fantasy owners some points last week as his only catch was a 6-yard touchdown.  The Bills will be looking for Nelson more for big plays down the field and down at the goaline to take advantage of his big frame.  If this guy is available in your league (available in about 48 percent of ESPN.com leagues) I advise you to pick him up and see what he can do in a starting role.  He has talent, Fitzpatrick and the Bills want to get Nelson more involved in the offense and depending on different matchups in the upcoming weeks, he’s not a bad play.

       Delone Carter, RB, Colts.  Starting running back Joseph Addai left last week’s game vs. the Chiefs with an apparent hamstring injury.  Anyone who plays fantasy football knows how much hamstring injuries can cost your team.  The injury always tends to linger and can be re-aggravated very easily.  Look for Carter to see an increased workload, although Donald Brown should get some carries as well for the 0-5 Colts.  Carter has looked good this season when filling in for Addai (41 carries for 125 yards as the 3rd string this season) but the Colts like what they have seen out of Carter, how he runs hard and they want to see what he can do given an opportunity to get more carries.  He’ll get that opportunity today.

       Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins.  Chances are this guy is already taken in your league but if by some miracle he’s still available scoop him up while you can.  Torain led the Redskins in carries, 19, yards, 135 and touchdowns, 1.  With Tim Hightower injuring his shoulder, Torain was able to pick up the load and then some.  I would be a little hesitant to start any Redskins running back right now unless you have no other option because you never know what you are gonna get in Mike Shanahan’s offense.  One week it could be Torain, the next Hightower or Helu.  I would take it day by day to see who the starter is, the Redskins have not announced whether it will be Torain or Hightower this week vs. the Eagles but both running backs are healthy so Torain should see some kind of workload.  Monitor this situation carefully in D.C.

     Start/Sit for Week 6

 

The players to start this week include:

Jimmy Graham vs. TB.  Leads all tight ends in points. He is a weekly starter, no question about it.

Fred Jackson vs. NYG.  Having a career year this, leads all fantasy RB’s in points in standard leagues.

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Jac.  Coming off a 5 touchdown performance against a good defense in Tennessee. Jacksonville is not a good defense.

Cedric Benson vs. Ind.  If Jackie Battle can rush for 119 yards against the Colts, Benson should have a huge day as he is a better RB and the Colts are a porous defense against the rush.

Cam Newton vs. Atl.  Newton is silencing his critics that he can’t throw the ball.  He is the first rookie in NFL history to have 4 300+ yard passing games in his first 5 games.  He will continue that against a beaten up Falcons secondary.  Look for him to connect early and often with his go to man Steve Smith.

Jason Campbell vs. Cle. Campbell has quietly had a very good season (1,118 yards, 6 touchdowns, 4 interceptions).  His numbers don’t blow you away but he manages the game nicely and is 12th among quarterbacks in fantasy this year.  He is going up against a Browns pass defense ranked 4th vs. the pass but are prone to give up big plays. Campbell doesn’t make much mistakes and that is what fantasy owners look for, a quarterback that doesn’t turn the ball over.  There are better options out there, but Campbell is not a bad play.

Miles Austin and Dez Bryant vs. NE.  Austin returned to practice this week after missing the last 2 games with a hamstring injury and the Cowboys say Bryant is now 100% healthy.  Look for both guys to have huge days against a Patriots defense ranked 32nd against the pass, dead last in the NFL.  This game will be a shootout so the Cowboys will need every bit of scoring they can get with these 2.

Packers D/ST.  I don’t usually talk about defenses and kickers but this week the Packers face the Rams offense who has given up the most sacks in the league.  Dom Capers and the Packers love to blitz, look for Clay Matthews and Co. to get to Sam Bradford early and often, causing numerous turnovers. 

Earnest Graham vs. NO.  Graham is a viable flex-play.  Look, the guy gets goal line carries and is more involved in the pass game with the Bucs coming out of the backfield (has 23 catches in the first 5 games).  That’s good for a RB that is not a starter on his team.   He has not scored yet this year, but my bold prediction is that he will score this week and get at least 10 fantasy points.  Solid for your fantasy team.

The players to sit this week include:

BenJarvus Green-Ellis or any Patriots RB vs. Dal.  The Cowboys are #1 in the NFL against the run only allowing 61 yards per game.  The law firm had a big day against the Jets defense (26th against the run).  Look for the Pats to pass it early and often.  Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley are not good plays this week.

Matt Schaub vs. Bal.  The Ravens are coming off a bye, have had 2 weeks to prepare for a Texans offense without Andre Johnson.  Look for Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Co. to shut the Texans offense down at home.

Pierre Garcon vs. Cin.  Garcon had a huge day last week vs. the Chiefs defense (ranked 17th against the pass).  He is Curtis Painter’s #1 option right now but not a lot of people know that the Bengals are the #1 defense in the NFL and are 3rd against the pass.  It’s not safe to play Garcon this week.

Frank Gore vs. Det.  Ever since his benching in the Philly game, Gore has come back to life.  2 straight 100+ yard rushing games but this week will be different.  The Niners are facing an undefeated Lions team that has one of the best Defensive lines in the game led by Ndamukong Suh.  Look for the Lions to crowd the line of scrimmage and make the Niners beat them with Alex Smith’s arm.

Owen Daniels vs. Hou.  See Matt Schaub.

Eagles D/ST vs. Wsh.  As mentioned earlier, Mike Shanahan likes to use 3 running backs in his system and the Eagles are atrocious against the run.  They allowed Fred Jackson to rush for 111 yards and catch 5 passes for another 86 yards.  The Eagles have been vulnerable all season, ranking 30th vs. the run.  This week is a good matchup for any Redskins running back.

Eli Manning vs. Buf.  The Bills intercepted both Tom Brady and Michael Vick 4 times this season; Eli threw 3 picks against the Seahawks last week.  Look for that trend to continue against an underrated Bills defense.

Desean Jackson vs. Wsh.  Jackson and quarterback Michael Vick just haven’t looked on the same page this season.  It seems that Jeremy Maclin has better chemistry with Vick than Jackson.  Maybe the contract situation of Jackson is affecting his play, I don’t know, I would stay away from Jackson this week.  Redskins rank 8th vs. the pass.

       These are my thoughts on who to start/sit in fantasy and this week’s waiver wire pick-ups.  Check back next week for more fantasy football opinions.  Good luck on your games this week everybody!