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Moving Up, Moving Down – Week 6, 2012

By: — October 16, 2012 @ 1:07 pm
Filed under: Player Analysis


Moving Up

Aaron Rodgers, Packers
The King is Back! Long Live the King! After three subpar performances (for him) to start the season, Rodgers has been back to his 2011 self over the Packers last three games, throwing for 900 yards, rushing for 87 more and tossing 13 touchdowns. In Week 6, he demolished the league’s best defense, torching the Texans for 338 yards and six touchdown passes. If Greg Jennings gets healthy, look out.

Moving Down

Kevin Kolb, Cardinals
No real Moving Down trends at quarterback this week so Kolb gets the nod after injuring his ribs against the Bills. Playing behind the league’s worst offensive line, it was only a matter of time before Kolb went down. While backup John Skelton was horrendous in replacing him, there are no guarantees Kolb will be available this week at Minnesota.

Running Backs

Moving Up

William Powell, Arizona
Powell’s the man in Arizona after LaRod Stephens-Howling’s first quarter flop against the Bills. He played decently enough, totaling 70 yards on 13 carries and catching one pass for eight yards. However, being the lead back in an offense possibly led by John Skelton isn’t exactly a winning fantasy proposal, especially against a solid Vikings defense this week.

Shonn Greene

It's time to sell Shonn Greene

Shonn Greene, Jets
Greene was the leading fantasy rusher in Week 6, posting career highs in rushing yards with 161 and touchdowns with three against a clearly overmatched Colts run defense. Has he finally turned the corner? Nah. This is a sell high, folks, all the way. The 100-yard performance was just his 4th in 47 games and Greene puts up one or two solid performances to tease us every year (33.3% of his 2011 fantasy production came in two games). Up next are the Patriots (6th ranked run defense), Dolphins (5th), a bye and then the Seahawks (2nd).

Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants
Torching the Browns for 200 rushing yards, 29 receiving yards and a touchdown was impressive but you could easily make the argument that getting 116 yards and a touchdown on the ground in a road game against the 49ers is more impressive.

Felix Jones, Cowboys
With DeMarco Murray going down with a foot sprain, Jones received his most extended playing time of the season, carrying the rock 18 times for 92 yards and a touchdown. Essentially persona non grata for the first four games of the season (nine total touches on offense), Jones will move into the starting lineup if Murray misses extended time and has proven to be an explosive runner during short spans of games. He rates as a mid-tier to high-end RB2 over the next several weeks if Murray is out, courtesy of a schedule that features the Panthers (23rd ranked run defense), Giants (16th), Falcons (27th), Eagles (15th) and Browns (25th).

Moving Down

Jahvid Best, Lions
Detroit management released a statement yesterday that Best is still not cleared to play after suffering a concussion during Week 6 of last season, exactly one year ago to the day. While the statement left open the possibility of his return later in the season, it seems clear that a 2012 return isn’t in the cards and Best’s career is likely over. Unfortunate, given his dynamic playmaking ability and short time in the league.

Adrian Peterson, Vikings
While Peterson has been solid and is on pace to finish the season with over 1,300 rushing yards and just under 1,700 total yards, the touchdowns just aren’t coming. After a pair of scores during the Vikings opening week win over the Jaguars, AP has failed to find the end zone and is on pace to finish the season with a career-low five touchdowns (his previous low was 10 during his sophomore season in 2008).

Alex Green, Packers
The good: the Packers gave him a whopping 22 carries, a rare occurrence in their offense. The bad: Green didn’t pretty much nothing, looking entirely pedestrian in gaining 65 yards, just under three yards a pop. That opens the door a crack for James Stark beginning with this week’s game against the Rams.

Wide Receivers

Moving Up

Mike Williams, Bucs
After a disappointing performance in his sophomore year, Williams has been decent in 2012 but has really clicked with quarterback Josh Freeman in the Bucs last two games despite being targeted just 14 times. He topped 100 yards in each game (for the 2nd and 3rd time in his career and first time since Week 8 of his rookie season in 2009), catching one touchdown pass.

Wes Welker, Patriots
Welker is certainly doing his best to make the Patriots brain trust of head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels look like fools for playing Julian Edelman ahead of him for the first two and half games of the season. Over his past five games, Welker has totaled 608 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns (one each in Weeks 5 and 6). Even with tight end Aaron Hernandez back in the lineup, Welker was targeted 14 times against Seattle, giving him 61 over his past five games.

Denarius Moore, Raiders
With 35 targets in his four games, Moore is clearly the Raiders leading receiver and he is coming off his best performance of the season, catching five passes for 104 yards and a score against the Falcons. With the Raiders up and down, there will be plenty of garbage time points in Oakland’s offense and Moore figures to lap up much of that.

Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
Vjax is a target machine in the Bucs offense, on pace to finish with a career-high 147 in that category. He’s also on pace to finish the season with 1,184 and 13 touchdowns, which would also be career-highs. With his 66-yard, two-touchdown performance this week against the Chiefs, Jackson has 166 yards and three touchdowns over his past two games.

Moving Down

Pierre Garcon, Redskins
Garcon put up a pair of dud performances (44 yards in total) after his return from a injury suffered in Week 1 and was declared inactive this week with an inflamed foot. Few thought he would emerge as a truly leading wide receiver for the Redskins but that was expected to be performance based. Looks like it will be caused by injury instead, since he looked solid in his only healthy game this season. Buy low and hope for health, folks.

Brian Hartline, Dolphins
Zero catches on zero targets for a big fat O-fer. Hartline is the epitome of a mid-level player playing in a role he is ill-suited for as the Dolphins leading receiver. The Rams completely shut him down and you can expect that to happen several more times this season.

Greg Little, Browns
This guy’s talented but he has hands of stone and the Browns seem to have moved on to using Josh Gordon as their leading wide receiver. Little has just seven targets in his last two games, catching three passes for 18 yards (all this week). If there is a Browns wide receiver to own, it is Gordon.

Tight Ends

Moving Up

Antonio Gates, Chargers
Looks like San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has remembered who butters his bread. Gates was targeted a season-high 10 times this week against the Broncos, catching six passes for 81 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. His performance should put his naysayers to bed as he looked like solid, if not exactly like the Gates of years gone by.

Moving Down

Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Pitta’s promising start to the season seems like a long time ago. After three solid games in which he caught 18 passes for 188 yards and a pair of scores, Pitta has gone stone cold. He put up an O-fer in Week 4 and has followed that up with 22 and 33-yard performances. The reason? Opportunity. He averaged over ten targets a game for the first three weeks of the season but just 3.7 over the last three weeks.

  • hoffdaddy

    Your write up of Alex Green couldn’t be more wrong. Look a bit deeper than yards per carry. He was playing a top ten rush defense on their home field in his first NFL start. Green isn’t even 1 year removed from his ACL tear. He’s the #1 option at running back by a big margin right now, and McCarthy confirmed that this week. He has good hands, and has shown pretty good burst thus far. He will only improve as the season moves along.

  • misterdimond

    I agree that is too early to put Alex Green on the moving down list. In fact, for a Packers RB under the circumstances, the game against the Texans could support putting him on the moving up list.

  • Bruce

    Couldn’t agree more with the first two comments and less with the writer. I thought Green looked great. Production wasn’t great, but I thought he ran hard, showed some wiggle and burst, but there was not a lot of holes. Houston was playing bump and run on the outside and crowding the line of scrimmage. That is why Rodgers picked them apart. Most teams will play cover 2 and put 6 or 7 in the box going forward. He is the unquestioned starting RB, on one of the highest scoring offenses in the league. He also was in there on all 3 downs!! Starks only came in at garbage time and he looked awful!! Green is moving way up, not down.

  • Jack

    Where do you get your information. Alex Green was just named the #1 back in Green Bay. You have him moving DOWN ??????

  • Bob Weir

    I have to agree with what everyone except the writer said here in relation to Green. He’s the unquestioned #1 back on the Packers. Does this guy reall get paid for writing opinions like that. Moving Green down is just plain dumb.

  • doug

    Alex Green has just won the starting job in Green Bay, and Cedric Benson will be “LUCKY” to win his job back when he gets healthy. Hmmmm,… we want to start an aging running back that is pretty much washed up, or do we go with a second year back that has a burst of speed and can catch out of the backfield??

    FF Today “experts” will be licking their wounds after that comment.

    Move this man up, up ,up !!!!!

  • DB

    I think the big error is Shown Greene. His next several matchups are tough, but his end of season is a dream. Not a bad guy to have in case. he’s going to get the rock at the goal line instead of teebow most of the time.

  • Scott

    You get what you pay for, fellas. (This site is free.) While there is some good analysis on here, I take it more as “talking to the guy on the next barstool” fantasy advice.

  • Dave Stringer

    @ Alex Green Fans,
    Just the facts, fellas. Green had two carries in the four plus games before Benson got hurt. Benson was averaging 3.5 yards a carry and Green averaged under 3.0 this week. By anybody’s standards, 3.0 is pedestrian. What I said was Green’s performance “opens the door a crack for Starks”. Green is a low end fantasy reserve in 12-team leagues.

    While the rest of the world had Gates Moving Down last week, we didn’t and look what he did on Monday night. Just saying.

  • Patrick Ficklin

    What about Josh Gordon?

  • don

    totally wrong assessment of alex carthy himself said he can and will handle a full workload

  • Dave Stringer

    @ Patrick Ficklin,
    Josh Gordon was Moving Up last week.

    @ Don,
    Let’s see how this week’s matchup plays out.

  • Thomas G

    Fellas fellas fellas, I believe Shonn Green is on the “moving up” list because as Dave Stringer pointed out, is in a sell high situation after his monster game against the Colts. That makes for great trade bait!! Great stuff as always Stringer!

  • Ken Shultz

    I guess we’ll see regarding Alex Green. Y’all gotta understand, Stringer’s not telling you to drop him. He’s just saying that however high up Alex Green was, he’s not quite that high up right now. …but that could change next week!

    Look at Aaron Rodgers moving up. It’s not like Stringer was telling you to drop Aaron Rodgers before–and now it’s okay to keep him. Aaron Rodgers was already up–it’s just that after that last performance, he’s moved up even higher still.

    Gotta keep things in proportion. This column isn’t about start or drop. It’s about people moving up or down. You can tell because the column isn’t called “Start or Drop”; it’s called “Moving Up, Moving Down”.

  • Bruce

    1) Did you hear what Coach McCarthy said today?! Green is the “bell cow” going forward. The coach of his team was obviously impressed with him despite his “pedestrian” average. There is no door opening for Starks at all. You obviously did not watch the end of that game. Starks was awful.
    2) Stats are what drive fantasy football, but you still have to watch the game. Yes, Green averaged slightly over 3 yards a carry. What you didn’t see or didn’t realize is that Houston was crowding the line of scrimmage and had 7-8 guys in the box on most runs. He did not have much room. I personally was impressed with how he looked and ran. Most D coordinators will not play Rodgers and Green Bay that way. Maybe that is why Rodgers had 6 TD passes?
    3) “Green is a low end fantasy reserve in 12 team leagues.” LOL Congrats on your Gates call, but Green will be solid the rest of the season. Top 10, No. But certainly better than a “12 team fantasy reserve”!!

  • Kingdiamond

    Funny stuff everyone talking about alex green likes he some kind of stud the kid is average and wont touch the ball once the packers get to the 5 yard line hindering his value hes a 70 yard a week back with the occasional 10 yard or longer score period.

  • Satan

    Green will be a low RB2 most weeks. Bye week gold, but not much better than BJGE or any other low ceiling guy.

  • Bruce

    Satan and Kingdiamond- I agree with your assessment somewhat. Is the guy Trent Richardson? No. But where does 60-80 yards a week, a RB that will play all 3 downs, catch some passes, and an occasional score rank you as a RB in this day and age of NFL fantasy football? A RB2!! But my comments were based on the writers comments. He has him in the moving down list and called him a “12 team fantasy reserve.” Also that the “door is cracking open for James Starkes.” According to the Green Bay coach, that is not true!! McCarthy said yesterday that Green will be the work horse going forward. He is not a fantasy savior, but not a bad option for someone that was owned in 1% of leagues 11 days ago.

  • Dave Stringer

    @ Thomas G and Ken Schultz
    Thanks for the love – feeling a bit beat up.

    @ Bruce,
    For the record, McCarthy made the comment about Green after my column was written AND I don’t believe him. Starks was running when the Texans knew the Packers were chewing up the clock.

    @ Kingdiamond,
    Agreed. The Packers will continue to rely heavily on the pass and utilize Kuhn at the goal line.

    @ Satan,
    No better than BGJE since he gets the goal line work and Green will not. Bye week gold? Not so sure.

  • Ryan

    The only Packer worthy of busting into a 12 team lineup in the past three years was Ryan Grant when he rushed for what 1200+ and 11 or 12 tds. Even Benson this year was nothing more than a speculative flex play. So whether McCarthy supports Green as the number 1, who cares Rodgers rushes for more touchdown than any of the backs they throw out there.

  • Dave Stringer

    @ Ryan,
    You said it, Ryan. As I noted, low end RB3.

  • Dylan

    Jeesh at all the Green love, You got it right Dave, hes at best a desperation flex play. He will get 60-80 yards on a weekly basis, will not score more then 2 tds the rest of the year, cause GB passes or uses Kuhn, and barely gets any catches.

    I guess alot of owners are just hoping hes gonna carry them, I just dont see it, 1 40 yard run, and the rest of his year is a 2.5 ypc avg

  • Gary

    I’m a huge Packer fan, as as good as Green did and how he helped the Pack with a running game, for fantasy purposes, he is a reserve. My league is touchdown only…he’s rostered but if you are desperate, you start him.

    Even in yardage…gotta wait to see.

  • AJbus

    Must be a lot of desperate Green owners and a lot of desperate Packers fans in here. I picked green up and all I expect to get is a decent bye week fill in at best. If you think more of him then go ahead and start him people. Think for yourselves!

  • Tough guy

    Bruce pretty much nailed it IMO with his last post. Starks is not very good. Green should get better as he learns how to better pass protect and he gains confidence coming back from his ACL injury. I don’t see how anyone can classify Green as ‘moving down’. Moving down from what? Going into last week he was expected to basically time share.

  • Doug

    No offense Mr. Stringer, but you must not have been watching the same game as the rest of us. Green looked solid and has many hopeful of more. That’s moving UP. Perhaps he’s just an RB3 in the Packer scheme, but that a lot more than he was at the start of the season, or two weeks ago.

  • Ken Shultz

    If you guys want the conventional wisdom, go to ESPN. I read just about everything on this site, especially Stringer and Orth, becasue they’re calling it like they see it. There are so many fantasy sites out there who write about what happened last week as if it were happening this week–and call that prognostication…

    What we get here is waaay better than that.

    And some of you guys still aren’t getting the proportionality.

    Again, why aren’t you whining about Adrian Peterson moving down? Or Aaron Rogers moving up? Isn’t it becasue you’re keeping proportionality in mind? Again, he’s not telling us to drop Green…

    He’s saying that whatever your expectations were for him–for the rest of the season–you should probably dial those expectations down a little bit for the time being given his performance last week. And, yeah, if he’d run for a hundred yards and scored a touchdown, Stark wouldn’t be any threat to steal carries at all.

    …but since Green didn’t run for a hundred yards and score a touchdown, it does open up the door–“a crack”–for Stark. I still don’t understand why that statement would be controversial.

  • NotAPacker

    I agree with Ken there.

    I watched Alex Green this week and I’m not getting the excitement on this page’s comments. The game was a blowout and the Texans lost Cushing yet he did not take over the game. The prior week he had a good run, one run, otherwise he did not do much. And he is not getting TD opportunities and he may not much moving forward because of the Pack’s offensive style. 42 Points and not one TD for the RB? Yikes, move on. He’s a backup bye week RB at this point and not doing as much as Benson in my opinion.

    I had Green on my radar for a while but this does not seem like much in reality.

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