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Moving Up, Moving Down – Week 8, 2012

By: — October 30, 2012 @ 10:44 am
Filed under: Player Analysis


Moving Up


Moving Down

Michael Vick, Eagles
Eagles head coach Andy Reid is pondering a change at quarterback. The wife of Eagles head coach Andy Reid is pondering which real estate agent to hire.

Philip Rivers, Chargers
The days of Rivers being an elite NFL signal caller are over as are the days of him being an elite fantasy option. With the Browns on tap, he threw for just 154 yards, his 2nd sub-200 passing yard performance of the season. He’s also a turnover machine with nine interceptions and three lost fumbles in seven games.

Running Backs

Moving Up

Doug Martin

A soft schedule has Doug Martin's value on the rise.

Doug Martin, Buccaneers
Martin owners are hoping the team has a few more nationally televised games on the schedule. He introduced himself to the league’s fans in a big way last Thursday, running roughshod over a solid Vikings run defense for 135 yards and a touchdown and adding 79 yards and another score through the air. That was nice. Equally as nice is his schedule the rest of the way, which features just one top 10 run defense between now and the end of the season.

Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers
I keep asking myself why the Steelers would hand Rashard Mendenhall his starting job back and I can’t come up with one. He’s a free agent at the end of the year, he can’t stay healthy and oh yeah, Dwyer has solidified the run game with a pair of 100-yard efforts over the last two weeks while averaging a nifty 6.7 yards per carry. You have to assume the job is his until he puts up a clunker.

Darren McFadden, Raiders
Mr. Buy Low is about to become Mr. Easy Sledding. Run-DMC ran well this week, gaining 137 yards on 33 touches against the Chiefs and faces a solidly ranked yet so-so Bucs run defense this week. After that, its swiss cheese as the Raiders will face run defenses ranked 20th or lower every week except one (the 15th ranked Broncos in Week 14) between Weeks 10 and 16. Make your offer NOW.

Ronnie Hillman, Broncos
The Broncos said they were going to start feeding their rookie 3rd round pick and they did it this week, handing the ball to him 14 times with Hillman having the best game of his young career, gaining 86 yards on the ground. He brings a speed element to the Broncos offense out of the backfield and he could be in line for a big second half of the season. At this point, he’s a bit too speculative to start in most standard leagues but I would roll with him in the flex spot in 12-team leagues.

Moving Down

Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants
After a pair of monster performances in Week 5 and 6, injuries have caught up to Bradshaw and he has struggled mightily over the past two weeks, gaining 121 yards on 34 carries and looking pedestrian. A touchdown in Week 7 saved his fantasy performance but look for Andre Brown and David Wilson to get more work until Bradshaw proves he has returned to full health.

Alex Green, Packers
Moving Down three weeks in a row! It’s a MU/MD record. How much longer can the Packers start this guy? While Green has averaged a respectable 7.0 points per game over the last four games, it is all volume based as he is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry. Either James Starks is still suffering from the effects of a turf toe injury he suffered in the preseason or he keeps taking Mike McCarthy’s parking spot.

Steven Jackson, Rams
It’s officially a timeshare in St. Louis with Jackson basically splitting reps 50/50 with rookie 7th round pick Daryl Richardson. And with the Rams offense failing to top 20 points in their last six games, Jackson is no better than a RB3 for the balance of the season.

Wide Receivers

Moving Up

Mike Williams, Buccaneers
Dude is back. Time to ditch the Michael Clayton comparisons. Tampa Bay’s offense is rolling and Williams is part of the reason why as he has hauled in 25 receptions for 436 yards and four touchdowns over their first seven games of the season. He had a modest performance this week with six receptions for 68 yards and a score but would have padded those numbers if the Vikings would have kept the score closer. Williams is proving he can beat single coverage and that means something with the running game on the uptick.

Titus Young, Lions
I told you last week that Young or Ryan Broyles was in line for more work and that Young was the guy to gamble on. Sure enough, this week he had his best game of the season and of his two-year career, hitting the 100-yard receiving mark for the first time. Young caught all nine of his targets for 100 yards and a pair of scores, including the game-winner against the Seahawks.

Michael Crabtree, 49ers
Sometimes numbers lie. Crabtree had five receptions for 72 yards and a pair of scores this week – nice numbers but not eye popping. However, this was clearly a superb performance as he lit up Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, catching all five of his targets while showcasing some run after the catch ability and excellent hands. Tough to rely on him given the 49ers propensity for running the ball but this was possibly the best game of Crabtree’s four-year career.

Cecil Shorts, Jaguars
He’s the Jaguars number one wide receiver at the moment and was targeted a healthy 12 times this week, giving him 22 over his last two games. He topped 100 receiving yards for the first time this week, gaining 116 yards on eight receptions, giving him his 2nd game in a row with double digit points.

Sidney Rice, Seahawks
Since I had basically written him off, Rice has 168 receiving yards and two touchdowns over his last three games. Let’s call him a low end WR3 over the balance of the season on the assumption that rookie quarterback Russell Wilson shows some improvement.

Moving Down

Calvin Johnson, Lions
Just the facts, folks. Six receptions on 19 targets over his last two games for 80 yards. For a guy this talented to put up those numbers tells us that his knee is bothering him more than he’s letting on. With just one touchdown in seven games, Johnson has no chance to match his 16-touchdown count from a year ago.

Hakeem Nicks, Giants
Similar to Johnson, Nicks just hasn’t looked healthy and has nine receptions for 99 yards and no touchdowns over his last two games.

Tight Ends

Moving Up

Jason Witten, Cowboys
Those of you (and us since I grabbed him as a TE2 in a 12-team league) who gambled on Witten and his lacerated spleen have been rewarded in recent weeks but the piece de resistance came this week against the Giants, with Witten grabbing a Cowboys franchise record 18 receptions for 167 yards. That gives him 43 receptions for 411 yards over his last four games with, alas, one touchdown.

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
Stating the obvious here but after finding the end zone just (for him) three times and topping 61 receiving yards just one in his first six games, Gronkowski has scored two touchdowns in each his last two games and scorched the Rams this week with 146 receiving yards. His services were needed to block for a couple of games but the O-line has improved leaving Gronkowski able to go out on patterns on a more frequent basis.

Moving Down

Greg Olsen, Panthers
After a decent start to the season, Olsen has gone stone cold in the Panthers last three games as his usage has declined. He has caught just nine passes for 91 yards over that span of games.

  • rc

    all this means is nicks and megatron go for 30 a piece next week—using this site has cost me—we have an all scoring league—used opinion here to play bradford over stafford—cost me 100$—when the difference between projections was Sams int rate

  • Ken Shultz

    I’ll second your assessment of Phillip Rivers. He’s lost his mojo.

    It happens to elite quarterbacks. It happened to Donovan McNabb. They almost never get their mojo back once they’ve lost it, and if they do? It usually isn’t until after they’ve been traded to another team.

    Over the last ten years, I can only think of one example of an elite fantasy QB getting his mojo back after he lost it. And that was Kurt Warner–in Arizona. QB mojo is an amazing thing, and when a QB loses it, like Rivers has, it’s always a mystery as to where it goes…

    It’s probably all in Rivers’ head. Regardless, it isn’t comin’ back this year. It probably isn’t ever coming back, and if it does, it probably won’t be until Rivers is quarterbacking somewhere else.

  • Ryan Tate

    Gotta love when people blame fantasy sites for their bad decisions. Fantasy “experts” can’t predict the future. They can offer insight to help you make your own informed decisions. The only person that has an easier job than a weatherman is a fantasy “expert”.

    I’m really not sure what’s dumber. Offering that advice or taking that advice….bad call both ways.

  • Zim

    Megatron and Nicks have been awful. It’s only a matter of time for defenses to pay less attention to them. Ideal but lows. I’d expect both to finish in top 10.

  • Ken Shultz

    @Ryan Tate,

    No doubt there’s some luck involved in fantasy football, but if there’s no expertise involved, then why do I consistently make the playoffs every year? Why do other people consistently fail to make the playoffs?

    I attribute the reason I’ve won over the last few years to the advice I get here. I wish they’d make this a pay site so the competition couldn’t get such great advice for free!

  • Natty Ice

    Ryan – I agree with you 110%. It irritates me to see people blame others for their own ineptness. If you literally take everything you see as what you should do, you shouldn’t be playing fantasy football.

  • Mark

    Does anyone else think Andre Brown (NYG) should be “Moving Up”?

  • Dave Stringer

    @ RC,
    Sorry but that’s the fun of it. If you walked all over everybody, that wouldn’t be any fun.

    @ Ken Shultz,
    Rivers needs some receivers to give him a chance to return to glory but that’s definitely not happening in 2012.

    @ Mark,
    He could be since Bradshaw can’t seem to stay healthy.

  • John

    I love fantasy but am now convinced it’s 70% luck & health and 30% management.

  • David

    @RC -> Seriously? There is no perfect answer to any fantasy question. This site is backed by numbers and is as reliable as they come for thinking managers.

    @Dave -> Doug Martin & Gronk? They are way obvious. I really need advice on starting Freeman/Fitzpatrick or Rivers.


  • Dave Stringer

    @ John,
    Luck is definitely big but not 70%. One year, I finished 1st in points in two leagues but missed the playoffs in one and lost in the 1st round in the other by 1/2 pt.

  • adam

    This is the first place I come too each week for Fantasy information. Not always accurate but gives me the best information to use going into a week. You can only do so much predicting players potential each week, its up to the player to perform.

    Wish teh projections came out earlier then late-late Wednesday eve/Thursday morning here on East Coast

  • Mike

    Sounds like bad LUCK, Dave. 70 luck, 30 strategy…imho. I’ve won 3 of 4 past years in a league dating back 15yrs. Well informed competition, we all win once in awhile. Too many variables to realistically take credit for the victories. Just enjoy the game.

  • andy

    Ken – Kurt arner didn’t lose his mojo and get it back – he was confused from all the concussions and when AZ made him sit for that whole season he took no hits and finally healed, and went back to being great. As far as Rivers is concerned, I agree with you – he’s done. What’s worse is he’s on my fantasy team (thank the Good Lord I have Peyton).

  • Look for Vick to turn it around starting this week,,,,,,,,,

  • Dave Stringer

    @ adam,
    All you ask for is for the opinions to be backed up with sensible information. Can’t be right every time.

    @ Mike,
    FF should be for fun. And sticking it to your fellow owners when you come out on top.

    @ Chuck,
    Agreed, at least for this week. After that, it’s anybody’s guess.

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