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Moving Up, Moving Down – Week 15, 2012

By: — December 18, 2012 @ 10:13 am
Filed under: Player Analysis


Moving Up

Russell Wilson

Wilson: Saving his best for last.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Despite a middling fantasy performance in Week 14 due to a blowout 58-0 win over the Cardinals, Wilson is averaging 27.9 FPts/G over the last three weeks making him the 2nd rated fantasy quarterback over that period. This week, he did it once again, throwing for 205 yards and a touchdown and managing three rushing touchdowns and 92 yards on the ground in another Seahawks blowout win, this time over the Bills. Wilson’s been using his legs more in the last few weeks and that’s padding his fantasy point totals.

Moving Down

Mark Sanchez, Jets
Yeah, the receivers are bad but Sanchez made a pile of awful decisions on Monday night. Decisions that a player wit four years of experience and 61 career starts under his belt should not be making.

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
Sure, Kaepernick’s fantasy point total looked good, courtesy of his 216 passing yards and four touchdown passes but those touchdowns weren’t exactly beauties and he could have had even more if he knew enough to put some air under the ball. Announcers drive me nuts with their fawning over newbies and that’s what happened this week with Kaepernick. Dude’s got plenty of potential but he was 14 of 25 this week despite having a whole host of wide-open receivers to throw to.

Josh Freeman, Bucs
The Bucs season was likely over anyway but Freeman provided the last nail in the proverbial coffin, courtesy of his four pick effort against the Saints.

Running Backs

Moving Up

Vick Ballard, Colts
Ballard’s getting it done in the running game for a Colts team that hasn’t been able to muster a consistent rushing attack over the past several years. The rookie 5th round pick topped 100 yards for the first time in his career this week despite facing a tough Texans run defense and with Donald Brown having another injured plagued season, look for Ballard to be the lead dog in Indy in 2013.

Beanie Wells, Cardinals
Three touchdowns was nice but the 3.9 yards per carry average against the Lions was somewhat modest. Up next are the Bears and 49ers and let’s make the assumption the Cards won’t roll up 38 points against those defenses. In fact, let’s make the assumption they won’t score 38 points in total to finish out the season.

Danny Woodhead, Patriots
Meet the only Patriots running back who didn’t fumble during this week’s home loss to the 49ers. His reward? Touches and plenty of them. Woodhead was a focal point of New England’s furious comeback, gaining 61 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12 carries and catching five passes for 23 yards. With easy matchups against the Jaguars and Dolphins up next and the playoffs just around the corner, here’s betting that head coach Bill Belichick will send a message to Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen by loading up on Woodhead’s touches over the balance of the season.

Curtis Brinkley and Jackie Battle, Chargers
With Ryan Mathews lost for the season, Brinkley or Battle will likely step into the starting line-up. While Battle may be the better player at the moment, look for Brinkley to gain the majority of the touches as he is the younger player and the Chargers may want to see what they have in him. Of course, he hasn’t done much so maybe they already know the answer to that question.

Moving Down

Ryan Mathews, Chargers
Touted by the Chargers to become a heavy touch, Pro Bowl caliber running back this season (not to mention consensus top five fantasy back), Mathews was a total bust as injuries and ineffectiveness ruined his season. Headed to injury reserve with another broken clavicle, Mathews will finish his 3rd season in the league with 707 rushing yards, 252 receiving yards and one touchdown. Given his inability to stay healthy, it won’t be a surprise if San Diego uses a mid-tier selection in this year’s draft to provide some competition for him.

Stevan Ridley, Patriots
Two fumbles, one lost, a trip to the bench and nine carries for 23 yards. Ridley carried some teams to the fantasy playoffs but his fumbleitis likely cost more than a few fantasy owners a win this week. And therein lies the conundrum of owning Ridley or any New England back over the last several years. All it takes is a fumble or two and a bad performance to see a player’s workload decrease dramatically that week and in subsequent weeks.

Wide Receivers

Moving Up

Antonio Brown, Steelers
Look who’s back and hopefully just in time to help his fantasy owners grab a championship. After a pair of okay performances since returning from injury, Brown was Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target this week, hauling in eight receptions on 12 targets for 76 yards and a score, his second straight game finding the end zone. Brown is averaging 8.8 targets per game this year and with the running game struggling, expect plenty of looks for Brown over the remainder of the season.

Brandon Lloyd, Patriots
A disappointment for much of the season, Lloyd has become a big part of the Patriots offense over the past two weeks, catching 17 of his 26 targets for 279 yards and a touchdown. With New England playing from behind this week, he set a career-high with 190 receiving yards and was Tom Brady’s go to guy on the deep ball. Maybe the Patriots have finally figured out that’s what he does best and that’s why they signed him.

Danny Amendola, Rams
The little man that could is finally back fully healthy and immediately returns to his role as the Rams top wide receiver. He was only decent this week, with six receptions on 12 targets for 58 yards and a score, but he was shaking off the rust so expect better performances to end the season as he attempts to gain leverage for offseason contract negotiations with St. Louis.

Moving Down

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
Weekly Fitz update. Four receptions for 22 yards this week. Guess the Cardinals got the screen game going this week. No, I wasn’t watching. Five weeks totals: ten receptions for 89 yards. That’s 1.8 FPts/G, folks.

Jonathan Baldwin, Chiefs
He was Moving Up last week based on opportunity so it is only fair that he’s Moving Down this week based on squandered opportunity. No receptions on four targets. Looks like the Chiefs have two options at wide receiver. Give in to Dwayne Bowe’s salary demands or draft another wide receiver high.

Danario Alexander, Chargers
A donut at precisely the wrong time. Ouch.

Tight Ends

Moving Up

Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Slow week at tight end so Pitta gets the nod to be Moving Up. He had the best game of his three year career this week, setting career highs in receiving yards with 125 and touchdowns with two while hauling in seven of 10 targets. He had disappeared from the Ravens offense for several weeks but apparently in back in vogue.

Moving Down

Vernon Davis, 49ers
Hey, what team needs a blazing fast tight end when they have Michael Crabtree? The San Francisco 49ers, that’s who. Davis got open for a touchdown this week but unfortunately Colin Kaepernick couldn’t get him the ball. Can’t remember what happened on his other TWO TARGETS.

  • Bob

    Ummm, Kaepernik’s performance and point total was awesome this week and he’s been about as stead in my league as any other starter since he took over. Not sure how you can say he’s moving down when he threw 4 TDs and won the game. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

  • dave

    dave stringer it on the nail as far as i can see. i have vernon davis and watched kaepernick over throw him twice both streak routes down the middle, they both were line drives , with a little air under them they both would have led vernon davis into the endzone.there is no doubt he has an arm, but he needs to have some touch in the nfl to put the ball where he needs to be, i see another brett favre or vick someone who will try to overpower the defense with their arm, more often then not you need to be able to put air under it and lay it in there. i’m sticking with the seahawks defense at home this week i predict at least two line drive picks this week maybe a pick six! kapernick will throw for 330 yds 18-36 2 int 2 pa td 1 ru td

  • Patrick

    As far as I’m concerned Kap is getting it done… Not easy to throw 65mph passes in the rain and always be on target… The kid is winning games and producing in fantasy… Not to mention he has showed great poise in the pocket and as a QB on the run… Kap has five games under his belt and you are already saying he is on his way down…. After a 4TD game against the Pats, in New England, in the rain.., nobody puts pressure on the Pats like that… Not even the best and not even a fan… These are just facts…

  • Kingdiamond

    Jimmy Graham considering where he was drated needs to be on the down portion of the list .

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