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Moving Up, Moving Down – Week 1, 2012

By: — September 11, 2012 @ 4:04 pm
Filed under: Player Analysis


Moving Up

Robert Griffin III, Redskins
Looks like RGIII has a chance to be CNII. Nothing like a bad pun to get the year rolling. RGIII looked poised, calm and efficient on his way to a 19-26, 320-yard, two-touchdown performance and his 42 yards on the ground were just icing on the cake. Let’s call him a low-end fantasy starter until he shows us otherwise.

Mark Sanchez, Jets
Who needs the preseason? Looks like the Jets don’t. After a truly awful offensive performance during the preseason, the Jets blew out the Bills with Sanchez leading the way. He threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns and a pick. It was also nice to see rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill establish himself as a deep threat.

Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
Gabbert looked good in a Week 1 loss to the Vikings, completing 23 passes for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns, all career highs. No, he’s not going to be savior for your fantasy squad this season but he may emerge as a serviceable backup.

Moving Down

Sorry folks, no quarterbacks are getting thrown under the bus after Week 1.

Running Backs

Moving Up

C.J. Spiller

Nobody's arrow is pointing higher than Spiller's right now.

C.J. Spiller, Bills
Fred Jackson is out at least a month with a knee sprain, his second injury in two seasons and a reminder that he is 31 years old. Spiller went off on the Jets for 169 yards and a score on just 14 carries while chipping in 25 yards through the air. He performed well replacing Jackson in 2011, accumulating 446 yards rushing, 187 receiving yards and scoring five touchdowns over his last six games.

Alfred Morris, Redskins
Morris got the start for the Redskins this week and put together a solid, if not spectacular, game gaining 96 yards and scoring twice on 28 carries. The rookie 6th round pick is currently the apple in head coach Mike Shanahan’s eye but we all know Shanny has a wandering eye. Quite frankly, his production seemed to be based more on volume than ability. No one should be surprised if this turns out to be his high water mark for the year.

Stevan Ridley, Patriots
Ridley flashed his ability during his rookie season in 2011 but after 21 carries, 125 yards, and one touchdown in Week 1, it looks like he is ready to carry the mail for the Patriots on a consistent basis. With Shane Vereen unable to stay healthy, Ridley is splitting the work with Danny Woodhead and that is a far better fantasy situation than in 2011 when four players were vying for touches in the New England backfield.

Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers
With Isaac Redman looking like the consummate plodder, Dwyer may have emerged as the team’s starter in Week 1, at least until Rashard Mendenhall gets up to speed. While Dwyer’s numbers weren’t spectacular (9 carries for 43 yards; 2 receptions for 11 yards), he ran hard and looked like the most explosive player in the team’s backfield.

Moving Down

Chris Johnson, Titans
Ready to bounce back, eh? Four yards on 11 carries against a less than stellar Patriots run defense didn’t do much to lessen the concerns that Johnson went into autopilot after he got his big money deal.

DeAngelo Williams, Panthers
With Jonathan Stewart inactive and a leaky Bucs run defense on tap, Williams looked like a solid start in Week 1. Not so fast. Williams ran for negative yardage on his six carries. This isn’t an indictment on Williams as much as it is of the team’s offensive line.

Michael Turner, Falcons
With the Falcons moving to a more pass-oriented offense, Turner was expected to see fewer touches in 2012. However, his fantasy owners were hoping he would churn out some yardage in blowouts and that wasn’t in the case in Week 1, with Turner gaining just 32 yards on 11 carries. Since we know he can’t catch the ball, it seems clear that Turner is headed to his worst fantasy production since he was a backup in San Diego.

Isaac Redman, Steelers
He looked awful and that is all there is to say about that.

Alex Green, Packers
No PT for Green this week even though Cedric Benson was (is????) awful so maybe he is not Benson’s handcuff after all.

Wide Receivers

Moving Up

Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys
After his impressive Week 1 performance with eight receptions for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns (all single game career highs), Ogletree has to be Moving Up. But much like Alfred Morris, don’t sell the farm to get this guy.

Stephen Hill, Jets
Much like Ogletree, Hill has to be Moving Up after a five receptions, 89 yards, and two touchdowns. But let’s face it, the Bills pass defense stunk and Hill likely just used up 25% of his 2012 fantasy production sitting on somebody’s bench. He remains bye week filler but filler you are now more comfortable with.

Lance Moore, Saints
Moore was Drew Brees’ favorite target in Week 1, catching six of the 10 passes thrown his way for 120 yards and a score against the Redskins. While Moore’s target count reflected the fact the Saints were playing from behind early, it is also worth noting that Devery Henderson was targeted just twice. This just might be the year that Moore emerges as a consistent weekly threat in the high-powered Saints offense.

Donald Jones, Bills.
One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. But in Jones’ case, it is two men’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. With David Nelson out for the year and Fred Jackson out for at least four weeks and the wide receiver depth chart consisting of unproven rookie T.J. Graham and journeyman veterans Ruvell Martin and Brad Smith, Jones figures to get plenty of targets in the coming weeks.

Randall Cobb, Packers
Was it just me or did Cobb seem to spend more time lining up at running back than the Packers actual running backs? With the Pack playing from behind, Cobb gobbled up all nine of his targets for 77 yards, making him worthy to stash on your bench.

Moving Down

David Nelson, Bills
Done. For. The. Year.

Brian Quick, Rams
Nailed. To. The. Bench.

Greg Little, Browns
Brandon Weeden looked awful, partly because Little had one bounce off his hands in the red zone and deflect to an Eagles defender. In Week 1, it was four targets and no catches for Little and a little time on the pine due to a hands problem that plagued him during his rookie season.

Tight Ends

Moving Up

Coby Fleener, Colts
The preseason hype was all about how fellow rookie tight end Dwayne Allen looked. After Fleener’s six receptions for 82 yards on 10 targets against the Bears, the Week 1 hype is all about how good Fleener looked.

Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Pitta looked good in Week 1, hauling in five receptions for 73 yards and a score in the Ravens blowout win over the Bengals. Better yet, his 9 targets were a career-high and the touchdown gave him four touchdowns in his last seven games. At this point, Pitta shapes us as the Ravens top receiving tight end in an offense that figures to get almost no production out of its backup wide receivers.

Moving Down

Joel Dreessen, Broncos
While Jacob Tamme was looking impressive in getting five targets and catching all of them for 43 yards and a score, Dreessen had just two looks in Week 1. Looks like this isn’t quite the 1A/1B situation many had predicted entering the season.

  • Pat

    What is your guys’ take on Darrius Heyward Bey. No Denarius Moore and the guy still only managed 3 catches and fell behind Streater in targets. Is he worthy of dropping in a 10 or 12 man league for a guy like James Jones?

  • Ryan

    I have Fred Jackson as my RB1 and hoping my #2 waiver priority gets me Spiller. If the #1 guy steals him, should I use my waiver position to get another replacement? I currently have Shonn Greene on my bench, who I imagine is better than most anyone else I can pick up in a 12-team league.

  • Squirrell

    Bey is number 3 on that team…maybe 4. Moore, Mcfadden, Ford/Bey. It looks like Palmer may not trust him.

  • Coop

    If I have #1 waiver priority but really no need for Alfred Morris, would you recommend claiming him anyway, if at the very least to keep him away from someone else? Not too often that a starting RB will come across on waivers. I could save my priority, but really, what other RB might come along? All of the high end backups are already owned in my 14 team PPR league.

  • Any time you get a chance to pick up a starting rb. you should grab him. One, just so nobody else gets him, and two, you may be able to use him in trade for someone you really need.

  • Ken Shultz

    Regarding Morris:

    “Quite frankly, his production seemed to be based more on volume than ability. No one should be surprised if this turns out to be his high water mark for the year.”

    I’m surprised that you’re movin’ him up anyway.

  • Dave Stringer

    Hold onto DHB.

    @ Ryan,
    Based on the performance of the Jets offense in Week 1, roll with Greene.

    @ Squirrel,
    Ford is going to miss several weeks with a foot injury.

  • Dave Stringer

    @ Coop,
    I agree with Mike Vukobrat’s post. Load up on assets early.

    @ Ken Schultz,
    See my comment above. It is never a bad idea to grab an RB1 and I gave him as lukewarm endorsement as I could.

  • Van

    fitzpatrick and weeden certainly deserve some sort of downgrade based on those poor performances

  • I don’t know about you guys but this Dwyer guy for the steelers looks pretty good. He ran hard, he made a few plays out of nothing. And also had a long run called back. Plus had a td overturned. If Mendenhall doesnt come back anytime soon i think they will be fine.

  • Matt

    I get SO sick of the “we all know Shanny has a wandering eye” crap. It’s as big of a cliche as the third year wide receiver break-out theory. Neither of those claims can be supported by facts, but ff pundits like yourself feel the need to spread them anyway. I suppose you think it makes you look smart – or at least as smart as everyone else. Morris is the back until he plays terribly or gets injured. Period.

  • Dave Stringer

    @ Van,
    Fitzpatrick is what he is – inconsistent. Nothing new there. As for Weeden, expectations were already low based on the youth of the Browns offense.

  • Dan

    Should I hang on to Fred Davis or drop him for Dennis Pitta, Marcedes Lewis or Kyle Rudolph in a PPR league?

  • Ford

    What do you think of Dennis Pitta vs. Greg Olsen of Carolina? Olsen is my starting TE and I don’t have a backup TE. I have Santana Moss and Titus Young as 2 of my 3 bench spots. Would you drop either one of them for Pitta? I also considered adding Stephen Hill….They are both Free Agents, so I don’t have to use any waiver priority. Thanks!

  • Dave Stringer

    @ Dan,
    I would hold on to Fred Davis. Not much use in Week 1 but he is a talented player.

    @ Ford,
    At this point, I prefer Olsen but not by much over Pitta. I would definitely dump Moss to add Pitta. As for Hill, he likely put up 25% of his fantasy 2012 production in Week 1.

  • Dave Stringer

    @ Matt,
    When was the last year Shanny had a bell cow back? Don’t be sick of the truth, my friend.

    @ Craig Yanover,
    Dwyer looked better than Redman but not great. Don’t buy high on a guy who might be splitting time with two other guys in a few weeks.

  • Matt

    Not the truth, man. Just your perspective. I won’t even bring up the multitude of no-names he turned into big-time back with the Broncos. Just sticking with the Redskins, he tried to make Torain the main back in 2010 after he showed some flash in the season opener, giving him 18,16, 20, and 21 carries in the next four games. Torain then got hurt. For the next two games, he tried to make Keiland Williams (a rookie!) the man, giving him 16 and 23 carries while Torain was out. When Torain returned from injury, he gave him 24, 11, 20, and 18 carries to finish out the year. In 2011, Tim Hightower was the man right out of the gate, and got 25, 20, 14, 8, and 17 carries. It was apparent to everyone that Hightower was not good enough for that type of role, but he saved everyone the hard choices by getting injured. Shanahan then did a platoon-like backfield for a couple of games, and Helu emerged the winner. He then got 23, 23, 27, 23 carries over the next four games until he got hurt. Royster then finished up the season with 19 and 20 carries. Those are the facts. The conclusions you draw from them are your opinions.

  • E

    Would you drop Titus Young, Heyward-Bey, or Torrey Smith for Randy Moss?

  • Michael

    Snatched Morris 10 mins before gametime when I heard he was the starter. Yay me! Now, do I play him or Wayne in my flex? I have a strong feeling that the Skins will roll, but how do you overlook 18 targets so easily??

  • Dan

    Would you keep Fred Davis or drop him for Jacob Tamme in a PPR league? Also who would you start in the flex position this week Antonio Brown, Jeremy Maclin or Alfred Morris?

  • Steve

    Who would you start Chris Johnson or Alfred Morris? Also do you think that Danny Amendola would be better long term vs. DHB? 8 team ppr league

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