Fantasy Football Strategy, Advice, and Commentary
By: Dave Stringer — December 16, 2009 @ 11:28 am
Fantasy playoffs are here, so here is hoping you’re still playing, and even moreso, hopefully you’ve got guys trending up instead of trending down. There might be some waiver wire gems in here that can help you.
- All of your Saints – Looks like they’re going for a perfect season.
- Hakeem Nicks, Giants – Four catches for 110 yards and a touchdown looks nice but he could have doubled his production if not for a pair of drops on deep balls. He’s moved ahead of Mario Manningham into the starting line-up and it seems like he’s ready to flourish.
- Brandon Marshall, Broncos – I guess 21 receptions for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns will get you in the Moving Up category.
- Reggie Bush, Saints – Went from the doghouse in Week 13 to the penthouse in Week 14 with 79 total yards and a pair of touchdowns. What’s important is that head coach Sean Payton praised his play after the game.
- T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch, Seahawks – Looks like Nate Burleson is out with a high ankle sprain and with three games left, there is little point in keeping him on the active roster. Houshmandzadeh has struggled lately with 139 yards in his last four games but this might awaken him from his slumber. Branch becomes a desperation flex play, nothing more.
- Fred Davis, Redskins – Turns out this guy can play – double digit fantasy points in three straight games including four touchdowns over that stretch. This guy is definitely worth a spot in keeper leagues.
- Darren McFadden, Raiders – Had 21 yards rushing and 84 yards receving on 11 touches against the Redskins this week. Maybe the light has come on for him. It’s worth nothing that 74 of those yards came on two pass plays and consistency is a big problem for McFadden.
- Leonard Weaver, Eagles – Splitting the carries with LeSean McCoy and scored a touchdown this week. Good enough for nine fantasy points if you need help at running back.
- Kenneth Darby, Rams – It appears that at some point, Steven Jackson‘s bad back will cause him to miss time. If you haven’t handcuffed him yet, it’s time to jump on Darby. Of course, one bad carry and Samkon Gado may be the guy you wish you had.
- All of your Colts – Looks like they’re not going for a perfect season.
- Randy Moss, Patriots – Yikes! Just when the fantasy playoffs are starting, Moss goes AWOL. The good news is that the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady realized he needs to be coddled. The bad news is that nobody knows if it’s going to work.
- Marion Barber, Cowboys – Four carries from the one and no touchdown? Are you kididng me? That’s ugly but what’s worse is that he has double digit fantasy points in only five games this year. That’s RB3 territory, folks.
- Matt Ryan, Falcons – The Falcons aren’t mathematically eliminated but they might as well be which means there’s little point in risking the team’s franchise player to injury. Looks like he’s played his last snap of 2009.
- Jerricho Cotchery, Jets – With a banged up Mark Sanchez and Kellen Clemens under center, Cotchery has 106 yards receiving over his last three games.
- Carson Palmer, Bengals – Over the past three weeks, he’s had games of 110 and 94 yards passing. The Bengals offense is based on their ability to run the ball and Palmer’s a low end backup fantasy quarterback at this point.
- Joe Flacco, Ravens – Over the last seven weeks, he’s been more likely to throw for under 200 yards than for over 200 yards. Plus, he has only four touchdowns in those seven games.
- Matt Cassel, Chiefs – 308 yards passing and no touchdowns over the last two weeks. In leagues that take away points for interceptions, the six picks he’s thrown over that stretch means he’s right around zero fantasy points in each game.
- All of your Rams – Hopefully you were smart enough to avoid drafting any Rams players but Steven Jackson’s back held him back in Tennessee and now the offense is led by Craig Null. Here’s what you need to know about Null – 6th round pick, Division I-AA, five picks in his debut. Kyle Boller might return but hopefully you’re not counting on Kyle Boller’s return to help your fantasy squad.
Not Sold Yet
- Quinton Ganther, Redskins – 21 fantasy points on a pair of touchdowns, 50 yards rushing and 43 yards receiving is sweet, even if it was against the Raiders. What’s not sweet is having the Giants and Cowboys up next.
- Chris Jennings and Jerome Harrison, Browns – One week it’s Jennings, one week it’s Harrison. What’s nice is that the Chiefs and Raiders are up next. Good luck picking the right guy.
- Maurice Morris and Aaron Brown, Lions – Kevin Smith is out for the year but unfortunately the Lions have the Cardinals and 49ers up next. Neither of these guys is good enough to do much against those solid run defenses.
By: Dave Stringer — December 9, 2009 @ 3:59 pm
- Robert Meachem, Saints – Touchdowns in five straight games, plays on the league’s best offense – what’s not to like? Even the schedule looks good with the Falcons, Cowboys and Bucs up next.
- Brandon Jacobs, Giants – Nice of Jacobs to throw up his best game of the year this week with 113 total yards and two touchdowns. Of course, I had him on my bench and it helped cost me a playoff spot in one of my leagues. [Editor's note: Me too. Bench that is, not the rest of the stuff.] Maybe he’s finally ready to assume the high end RB2 status most expected entering the season.
- Antonio Gates, Chargers – Gates has been solid for most of the year but nowhere near the major stud he has been at times in previous years. However, he seems to have reclaimed his old form in the last two weeks with 15 receptions for 285 yards and two touchdowns. It looks like he’s getting hot just in time to carry some lucky owner’s fantasy squad in the playoffs.
- Jason Witten, Cowboys – Similar story here with Witten going off during the last two weeks to the tune of 19 catches for 263 yards. However, it does look like the Cowboys are using Roy Williams as their main option in the red zone.
- Alex Smith, 49ers – It’s official – the 49ers have morphed into a passing team and Smith is reaping the fantasy reward of that. In the last three games, he’s passed for 769 yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception. He’s worthy of a start in two of the next three weeks – avoid using him in Week 15 against the Eagles.
- Santonio Holmes, Steelers – With 131 yards and a score in Week One, Holmes seemed ready to enjoy a breakout year in 2009. However, he failed to find the end zone again until Week 12 but has touchdowns in each of the last two games. With Hines Ward out this week, expect more targets for Holmes.
- Pierre Garcon, Colts – Garcon shredded a pretty decent Titans secondary this week with 136 yards on six receptions. He was considered a raw prospect entering the season but has come on in the last three games with 307 yards and a score. He’s a worthy starter on a weekly basis.
- Devin Thomas, Redskins – The situation in Washington isn’t a promising one but the bottom line is that Thomas has been used more and produced more since Sherman Lewis took over the play calling duties from Jim Zorn. This week it resulted in 100 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches. Maybe the light has gone on for Thomas.
- Jerome Harrison, Browns – Hey, if you’re desperate, Harrison is worth a look. The Browns fed him more than Chris Jennings this week (17 touches to six) so he’s the Cleveland back to get if nothing else is available.
- Davone Bess, Dolphins – Miami opened it up in the passing game a little bit this week and Bess responded with 10 catches for 117 yards and a score on 14 targets. While it’s hard to get excited by a guy that averages 9.3 yards per reception and has one touchdown for the year, it does look like he’s the number one guy in the Dolphin passing attack.
- Frank Gore, 49ers – 117 yards on 32 carries sounds like what Gore might put up in a single game. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, that’s what he’s put up in the last three games. His performances have been saved by two receiving touchdowns but it’s not even like he’s contributing much in the passing game with just 60 yards over those games.
- Vincent Jackson, Chargers – I love Jackson’s game but what I don’t love is how he’s been utilized over the past four weeks. Over that span, he’s been targeted 18 times and has 147 receiving yards and no touchdowns plus he’s been usurped by Antonio Gates as the team’s top red zone target. That could change as soon as this week but as of now, he’s dropped to WR2 status.
- Justin Forsett, Seahawks – What can I say other than “wow”? In Julius Jones‘ return from injury, Forsett managed to get just five carries compared to 20 for Jones. Plus, now he’s hurt. Things change quickly in fantasy land.
- Jay Cutler, Bears – 8 for 17 and 143 yards and a score sounds like what Cutler should put up against the Ravens or Bears but those are his stats from last week’s matchup against the lowly Rams. Over the last three quarters, he was four of 10 for 12 yards. And, no, I don’t care that his hand was slightly banged up since the Bears themselves said the injury wasn’t serious.
- Brett Favre, Vikings – Okay, I’m not really all that down on Favre but he is coming off his first multiple interception performance of the season, he played poorly against the Cardinals and the stingy pass defenses of the Bengals and Panthers are up next. Then Week 16 features a trip to Chicago where the weather could reduce the chance of a strong fantasy performance.
- Mario Manningham, Giants – The four looks he got this week were the second fewest he’s had all year. Basically, Manningham’s hit or miss and for the past few weeks, it’s been mostly miss.
- Brandon Gibson, Rams – Gibson was interesting for a few weeks because he was getting plenty of targets and came close to scoring a couple of times. However, with Kyle Boller struggling at quarterback and the Rams unwilling to throw the ball deep, Gibson’s targets and his fantasy prospects are in the tank.
Not Sold Yet
- Bruce Gradkowski, Raiders – 308 yards and three touchdowns against the Steelers looks very good. However, unless you’re extremely desperate, avoid Gradkowski because, although he seems to be trying very hard, he’s just not that good and neither is the offense he’s leading.
- Louis Murphy, Raiders – It was very nice that he had four receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns while sitting on someone’s bench this week. Unfortunately, he plays for the Raiders and the odds of him duplicating this performance are pretty much nil.
By: Dave Stringer — December 1, 2009 @ 6:03 pm
- Vince Young, Titans – In five starts, he has put up serviceable fantasy points in three games and solid points in the other two, including 387 passing yards and a touchdown this week. More interesting than that, however, is that Young displayed a deft touch from the pocket and was extremely accurate. Maybe Vince has figured out that he needs to play well to earn the hefty roster bonus that comes due early this off season.
- Terrell Owens, Bills – It’s only took until Week 10 for T.O. to establish himself as a WR1. Unfortunately, it might be too late for his owners to salvage a playoff spot. Either way, with 17 receptions for 378 yards and two scores over the past three weeks, he needs to be in your starting line-up. OK – that was stating the obvious.
- Jamaal Charles, Chiefs – Prior to Week 10, I was ridiculing Charles and the Chiefs for failing to have a rushing score on the season. Since then, Charles has accumulated 254 yards and two scores on the ground to go along with 76 yards and a score through the air.
- Justin Forsett, Seahawks – Even though he only managed nine yards on the ground last week against the Vikings, he has 368 total yards and four touchdowns since Julius Jones was injured three weeks ago. I see little reason for the team to go back to Jones.
- Robert Meachem, Saints – Five touchdowns in his last four games. Plays on a pretty good offense in New Orleans. Three of the next four opponents have iffy to bad pass defenses.
- Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston, Cardinals – Even though Matt Leinart looked decent this week against the Titans, he failed to throw a touchdown pass and the offense looked out of sync compared to when Kurt Warner is in there. Until Warner gets back, these guys are in a downward spiral.
- Steve Slaton, Texans – Looks like Texans head coach Gary Kubiak has Mike Shanahan-ed the fantasy world with his announcement that Slaton was back as the team’s starter at running back. I guess in his world only spelling Chris Brown on 1st and 2nd down and coming in for obvious passing downs makes you a starter.
- Chad Ochocinco, Bengals – Hasn’t hit double digit fantasy points in four games, a stretch where he has 14 receptions for 200 yards and no touchdowns.
- Julius Jones, Seahawks – Jones had one 100-yard rushing effort in ten weeks. Justin Forsett has two in the last three weeks. Not much more to add to that.
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