Bye Weeks: Minnesota, N.Y. Giants, Seattle, Tennessee
Grab a Helmet
Smith v. TB: Itís been an up-and-down year for the former
All-Pro in general and mostly just down of late. Heís tallied
only 60 yards on four grabs in his most recent two games and if
it werenít for a touchdown in Week 9 (his only one of the year,
no less), he would have been a hugely disappointing play in both
instances. His numbers arenít down, by the way, because heís not
being targeted. To the contrary, Cam Newton looked his way 14
times in those two contests, about average for the 16th most targeted
receiver in 2012. That heís only the 33rd highest scorer through
10 weeks says something about Newtonís accuracy (or the lack thereof).
Anyway, too much gloom and doom. Iím supposed to be selling you
on Smith, not recommending you sit him. Hereís what Iíve got:
He faces the Tampa Bay Bucs on Sunday, the team giving up the
third most fantasy points to opposing receivers. He also logged
seven catches for 106 yards in the first game between the two
NFC South foes back in Week 1. Start Smith.
Amendola v. NYJ: Do you think Sam Bradford was happy to see
Danny Amendola back after the latterís extended layoff due to a
dislocated clavicle? (I donít even like typing it.) The former Sooner
treated the former Red Raider to a welcome home gift of 12 targets
in the Week 10 duel at Candlestick, 11 of which were tucked away
by Amendola for positive yardage and positive fantasy points for
his multitude of owners (more if they participate in PPR leagues.
If it hadnít been for a yellow hanky in overtime, moreover, Amendolaís
day would have been even better as he hooked up with Bradford for
an 80 yard hit-and-run that would have definitely have sealed the
victory. Unfortunately, it wasnít meant to be and the game ended
in a tie, much to the surprise, apparently, of Mr. Amendola. Hey,
NFL players: Thereís only one overtime and games absolutely CAN
end in ties!
Danny Amendola: The Rams only threat in
the passing game is back.
Moore or Darrius
Heyward-Bey v. NO: I hope youíre still chewing on what
I said over in the QB section about Carson Palmer because now itís
time to put that knowledge (heís legit!) to good use. Meet the two
guys most often fielding the passes Palmerís typically sailing around
NFL stadiums. Moore is widely regarded as the more dynamic member
of the duo and certainly the more trusted as heís tallied more targets
(68 to 44) and more points (87.5 to 56.7) through eight games (theyíve
both missed two tilts). Heyward-Bey, on the other hand, is the wildcard
home run threat whoís managed to average almost 10 fantasy points
per contest since resuming a full workload after a Week 3 concussion.
The list of rather impressive receivers averaging roughly that many
points per game on the year looks like this: Wes Welker, Jordy Nelson,
Miles Austin, and Mike Wallace. If youíve decided Oakland receivers
arenít worth your while, itís time to start rethinking that assessment.
Grab Some Wood
Wallace v. BAL: Speaking of Wallace, almost all of his damage
has been done in cahoots with Ben Roethlisberger this year. Iíd
never even consider sitting him with Big Ben under center, but
with Byron Leftwich running the show, the former Rebel becomes
a much less enticing option. That blazing speed can hardly be
put to good use, after all, when the man delivering passes takes
so long to get the ball out, up, and on its way. You think the
Ravensí Ed Reed and company wonít be laying in wait for those
significantly delayed pigskins? More than likely, Coach Tomlin,
anticipating trouble, will hew closely to a very conservative
game plan and limit Baltimoreís opportunities to take advantage
of his backup field general. That means a lot more rushing and
a lot less Wallace. Itís pretty tempting to give him the nod with
Antonio Brown likely out again, butÖIíd temper those expectations
if I owned him.
Ogletree v. CLE: Ogletree kicked off his 2012 campaign with
an explosive eight-catch, 114-yard, two-TD performance in the
opener against the Giants. Since then, heís become arguably the
leagueís most inconsistent, and therefore maddening, WR3 save
possibly for Devery Henderson. The former Virginia Cavalier struck
for three receptions, 96 yards, and a score in the Week 9 loss
to Atlanta (when nobody likely started him) and then followed
that up with a zero-catch, zero-yard, zero-TD, zero-TARGET outing
against the Eagles in Week 10 (when some were doubtless starting
him). Zero targets? Honestly? How does a guy go from being a regularly
targeted third option on a pass-heavy team to warranting precisely
zero looks in the span of a single week? Youíre not starting him
this week, Iím certain, but that kind of inconsistency would earn
him a one-way ticket to the waiver wire where I come from. Jettison
Dallasí mercurial third receiver and save some money on therapy.
Blackmon @ HOU: The former Okie St. Cowboy was inching ever
closer to relevancy after two respectable performances against
NFC North opponents, Green Bay and Detroit, in Weeks 8 and 9.
He totaled nine catches for 99 yards and a score on 17 targets
in those two games and looked ready to take another step in the
Week 10 matchup last Thursday night against the upstart Colts.
There was just one minor complication: Laurent Robinson returned
from injury in the meantime and swallowed up a whopping 15 of
Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne’s 47 total looks. That means
Gabbert looked Robinson’s way a third of the time and Cecil
Shorts’s way another third of the time (14 targets) and…nope,
Blackmon split the last third of the pie with four other guys
if that’s what you were thinking. Clearly, he’s not
quite ready for primetime so sit him down against the stout Texans
defense this Sunday.
Good luck, folks!