Monthly Archives: October 2013

2013: Start ‘em or Sit ‘em Week 9

As teams go through their bye weeks – so do we here at the artofscore.  With Ron’s vacation underway, our rollout schedule is a little behind.  So for this week, we’ll get you the Starts and Sits before Sunday, but *this page will be updated throughout the weekend as we complete matchup analysis*.

As always we try to stick away from the obvious “start Calvin Johnson” etc, but we are always open to fielding specific lineup questions if you leave them in the comments below.

Bengals vs Dolphins

Sit ’em WR Marvin Jones – I know, I know….what?!!! He just scored 4 td’s in a game?  You guys recommended picking him up weeks ago, and you’re very proud of that fact.  Both those statements are true, but so is this one…it’s likely that was Marvin Jones’ highest fantasy output of his entire career, let alone the 2013 season.  And this isn’t a strict bench advisory if you’ve got some WR 3 issues or bye issues, but this is a warning to temper expectations.  Thursday night games have a way of being  sloppy and low scoring- which isn’t the best environment for a guy that plays on the outside. He and Dalton have been heating up, but something is warning me this is a game where he dips and maybe is even held out of the endzone for the 1st time in 3 weeks.  I mean don’t start him just because you didn’t last week and got burned- it’s not going to happen to that degree again. I think a realistic expectation for him is around 5 catches for 65 yards and no score – which may be passable for you depending on what your situation is…but I’m cautioning against Marvin as a “must start” this week, he may have problems tonight.

Start ’em TE Tyler Eifert: Lost in the breakout that was Marvin Jones’ 4 TD reception day, was another near miss TD by Eifert.  Eifert is a guy that I think should be a potential star and for fantasy purposes the only thing holding him from top 5-10 Te status this year has been his infrequent targets by Andy Dalton.  I am hesitant to recommend Eifert regularly,  because Dalton usually looks his way less than 6 times a game,  but I just have a good feeling about him in what generally are sloppy Thursday night affairs. In these types of lower scoring games reliable TE’s usually see their target increase.  The Dolphins d is just 20th against the pass this season,  and I don’t see anyone being a matchup equal for Eifert’s big frame.

Sit ’em RB Lamar Miller: I like Miller more than most, and he has been averaging close to 5 yards per carry his last 2 weeks.  But the Bengals have the league’s 8th best run defense – allowing opponents under 4 YPC on average.  Miller may get some additional pass receptions in this one, but over 70 combined yards from scrimmage seems unlikely – and he probably won’t find the endzone either.   In no way is he a RB2 this week, and he may have problems being a solid flex or RB3 play.  I’d start him over guys like Peyton Hillis, Mike James, or Willis Mcgahee – but I’d also feel free to take a risk on some guys like Chris Ivory or teammate WR Rishard Matthews as a flex. Miller’s outlook seems pretty pedestrian.

Chiefs at Bills

Sit ’em RB CJ Spiller: This is my 2nd straight week of advising to bench CJ, and this week it looks like he really will get some playing time.   The problem is no one knows what sort of workload CJ is capable of at this point and he is the poster child for fantasy frustration this season. Particularly aggravating is that even when healthy Spiller cedes carries to Fred Jackson near the goalline, and I can’t imagine he sees more than 10-12 total touches in this game against a fairly stout (10th in the NFL for rush defense) Kansas City Defense.  I see Spiller’s upside as 6-8 points, which is generally disappointing for a fantasy starting RB.  Spiller owners who have a shot at the playoffs should hold Spiller on their bench until he shows he is healthy – those of you with only outside playoff hopes it may be time to start shopping him to owners that believe he will reboound.  I don’t see Spiller as a real fantasy factor for another 2-3 weeks.

Start ’em WR Dexter McCluster – McCluster’s career has been so inconsistent that I almost feel like the Chiefs were trolling us for a few seasons there.  He’s a RB, no he’s a slot WR, no he’s a punt returner, a wildcat QB, etc, etc, etc….McCluster is an above average talent, with a below average frame – so unlocking his true potential has been very difficult over his 1st 3 seasons.  I say strike while the iron is hot here.  In his past 2 games McCluster has around 140 total yards and a TD, which means he’s clearly in the gameplan weekly for KC.  Buffalo has the league’s 26th overall defense which should mean opportunities for McCluster to find space – and he becomes a solid flex choice this week.   McCluster has a history of disappearing (injuries, fumble issues) so he may not be worth starting for long – but he is trending upwards right now, which can help your team.

Falcons at Panthers

Sit ’em Steven Jackson: Jackson didn’t look completely healthy last week in his 1st game back since the 2nd week of the season.  In fact an 11 carry for 6 yard performance looks downright nasty. We remarked in the preseason how Jackson looked very slow and hurt, and we had hoped it was just a veteran going through those preseason “I have to be out here” motions.  Well he looks like that again, and against a Carolina team that ranks 2nd in the NFL against the rush he should find a seat on your fantasy bench.   Jackson will be very fantasy useful down the stretch, and I love the player – but like Spiller, he’s just not there yet.

Start ’em WR Ted Ginn:  This might be the riskiest of my advice this week, but I can’t help myself.  Ginn can be a devastating weapon when Cam Newton looks for him – and if Cam involved him in the game plan weekly you’d be looking at a solid fantasy WR2 option.  Unfortunately Cam likes to feed the mouth that is WR Steve Smith, and the Carolina running game, and some weeks even TE Greg Olsen – all before Ginn.  So you look over Ginn’s season and you see things like 10 yards,  60 yards and a TD, 70 yards and a TD, 70 yards,  20 yards, 30 yards, 80 yards….it’s pretty maddening.  In non PPR leagues Ginn is a top 30WR, averaging around 9 points a game….it’s just that those duds in between scare you off.  Against the Falcons who should keep the pressure on scoring wise, I think you start Ginn this week and he gives you a nice performance.  Just be aware of the disappearing risk.

Vikings at Cowboys

Start ’em RB Demarco Murray: I’ve never been a huge fan of Murray’s talent level,  but after watching the Dallas running game in his 2 week absence (RB Joseph Randle under 2 YPC) – it’s clear the team needs him.  Hopefully Murray’s return frees up Tony Romo to play better, as Romo has also somewhat underperformed without the real threat of the run.  I predict a heavy workload for Murray this week against a bad Vikings defense – so start him without hesitation this week.

Sit ’em all Vikings other than AP: And you likely weren’t going to start any of them anyway, but with the news that QB Josh Freeman is probably back under center in this one you can’t take a chance on any of the WR’s or on Kyle Rudolph.  This is a real shame, because the Cowboys pass defense is very susceptible to giving up all sorts of fantasy yardage, but the Vikings are the league’s 29th ranked offensive team – and they now have a QB controversy (reports are emerging that the locker room is behind Ponder as the starter).  Only the Rams and the Buccaneers are worse run NFL franchises right now-especially on offense (yes Jacksonville I’m giving you props up to 4th worst).

Saints at Jets

Start ’em RB Chris Ivory: Ivory burned me last week with a start recommendation, but that was against a stout Bengals run d. The Saints run defense is only 19th in the league right now, and Ivory appears these last 2 games to have finally (8 weeks into the season- when he was supposed to be the lead back in Week 1) won the early down role for the Jets. One factor from last week’s  game that worries me a little is that the Bengals were able to get up on them 14-0 in the 1st 3 drives of the game – which regulated the amount of time the Jets could even think about trying to run the ball.  The Saints offense could put the Jets in a similar situation again, but you have to think very early it will be about ball control with the Jets – and the Saints run defense is not near the level of Cincy to make the early stops.  I like Ivory this week as a high RB3 possibly even RB2, this might finally be the game he puts together yardage and a TD.  The Jets should be nice enough to try to get him in the endzone against his old team.

Sit ’em WR Marques Colston: Name value aside it’s very arguable that Colston should even be on a fantasy roster in standard size leagues.  You either keep starting him as a flex, or a bye week guy – or more hopefully, stashing him on the bench waiting desperately for something that looks like his 1st month of the season where at least he was getting 60 yards.  Colston may not be done as a player in the league, but something is wrong with him.  And the Saints have picked up on it -in his last 3 games Colston has yet to break 20 total yards!  While Colston used to be the 1st or 2nd option in the passing game he’s now clearly behind Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, and then depending on the week Stills, Meachem, or Moore are also stealing looks.  Colston’s a better player than his output, but with the Saints philosophy already being to spread the ball around – and Colston clearly not a redzone priority (1 TD all season) – you can’t start him with any confidence.  I keep him on my roster for now, but if he posts his 4th straight game under 20 yards (even under 40) he becomes someone I look at for freeing up a roster spot.

Titans at Rams

Start ’em RB Zac Stacy:  I still think Benny Cunningham (out with injury these last 2 weeks) may be the better RB, but I have to tip my cap to Zac.  With Kellen Clemens as no real threat to anyone, somehow Stacy ran all over Seattle last week for 134 yards and a 5.2 ypc!  In 4 games since being named the starter Stacy has surpassed 70 total yards each time, and if he can somehow add a TD to that average you’ve got a mid-level fantasy RB2.  Stacy was banged up a little this week with a foot injury, but he’s been practicing and make no doubt he knows he can put a stranglehold on this job very soon.  The Titans are just 24th against the rush- so even though Clemens presents zero threat, and the rest of the Rams skill position players are among the most worthless in the entire league, and he’s a little hurt – Stacy is still a great option this weekend.

Start ’em RB Chris Johnson: This is just a vote of confidence to you Johnson owners. I know the news came out of Tennessee this week that they want to get Shonn Greene more involved (the Titans comical mismanagement on offense has them threatening the bottom Vikings, Rams, and Bucs) but let’s face it Chris Johnson doesn’t need a lot of typical rushing touches to be productive.  Last week against a good Niners d he only ran for 39 yards (on a semi respectable 4.3 average), but he still added 71 yards and a TD to that total with his receiving totals.  The Rams run d in prime time against Marshawn Lynch looked good last week – but remember the Seattle OL is very depleted right now, and overall the Rams rank just 22nd against the run for the season.  Don’t let the hype – either from the Titans, or the Rams d scare you off of Johnson for 2013 – he’s going to be a very good player for your team.

Chargers at Redskins

Start ’em RB Ryan Matthews: You would think there would be fantasy points galore in this game.  Neither defense is any good at making stops, and both offenses have decent if not superstar point producers.  I want to highlight Matthews for the Chargers, as his previous 2 games he went over 100 yards rushing and then got the bye to rest up.  We know Matthews history: injuries and fumbles.  Well he’s healthy right now and starting to run red hot against the 30th ranked Redskins run defense he’s a high end RB2 and absolutely a better play this week than some guys with better historical reputations like Steven Jackson or even Chris Johnson.

Start ’em WR Pierre Garcon:  Garcon, like RG3 has been a bit of a disappointment this season.  He still makes crazy catches and accelerates well after them, but as he put it best “We suck right now at passing”.   He’s been held without a TD for 3 straight games and has only broken the 60 yard barrier once in his last 4 games.  But, we know the drill with WR’s: complain and teams will usually try to force feed you the ball.  Against good defenses this could be a problem, but against the Chargers 26th ranked pass defense it’s likely Pierre gets his long awaited breakout week.  I’m not saying to expect the insane 143 and a TD he put up in week 2, but I would think he’ll be a redzone target this week for certain.  So if you’ve recently taken him out of your WR rotation b/c you’re sick of looking at him put up 6 points or so – now is the time to get him back in as a high WR2 this weekend.

Eagles at Raiders

Sit ’em QB Terrelle Pryor:  I know he just rushed for the longest TD in league history by a QB. But if someone from the Steelers makes a tackle after say 40 yards what kind of day are we talking about fantasy wise?  And that’s the thing, I feel like Pryor is on about 14:58 of his 15mins of spotlight.  His passing #’s over his last 2 games are hovering around a pathetic 52% completion percentage and he has 1 TD vs 5 Int’s during that span.  Pryor can’t really pass at the NFL level, and teams are starting to adjust to this, once his rushing yards drop to a semi-normal 40-50 yards per game you’re going to wind up with a below average fantasy QB (and a terrible real life QB).  We have probably made more wrong calls about Pryor being hot or cold than any other player all season, but I just don’t know how you can feel good about starting this guy right now.  Sure if you’re faced between a Case Keenum or a Jason Cambell, Pryor’s homerun upside is worth it, but against any midlevel producer like Alex Smith or Russel Wilson- I’m taking the safer guys all the time.

Start ’em WR Riley Cooper: In the 2 games prior to Nick Foles getting a concussion Cooper had over 200 yards and a TD.   Foles may be a little slow coming back from his injury (thus why I can’t go all in on him this week), but Cooper will still be one of his favorite targets when he gets back under center this week.  I feel like if Foles can stay healthy that duo will surprise folks down the stretch of this season – it’s not so much that Cooper is extremely talented, so much as it is that Foles is capable of involving his secondary WR options much better than Vick – or the insanely terrible Matt Barkley could ever be. Cooper makes a nice WR3 or very low end flex play this week – with a trend I think to be a very solid option in weeks to come.  70-80 yards could be a very reasonable expectation for him this weekend.

Buccaneers at Seahawks

Sit all Buccaneers except WR Vincent Jackson: And the only reason you can’t sit Jackson is because Glennon’s targets him at such a high volume there’s a nice chance for garbage production.   I like Glennon’s development but he’s not ready for Seattle’s 2nd overall defense in their own building – so this eliminates any of the passing game players (save Jackson and you have to expect a reduced day for him), and rookie RB Mike James has yet to break 60 total yards since stepping in for Doug Martin.  Our own Ron Brown will be there in person this weekend to lend his screaming voice to the throng – so there’s even other reason to bench your Bucs.

Start ’em QB Russell Wilson: No way around it, Wilson’s been a fantasy disappointment this season – with his OL beat up, Percy Harvin not available, and a run heavy gameplan, Wilson is probably hovering around the 10th-15th scoring QB in your league (which is not great in 12 team leagues).  I say don’t get too discouraged or overthink it, Wilson against lesser opponents is still a good- to-great starting option.  The loss of Sidney Rice for the season doesn’t worry me too much, because let’s face it Sidney Rice has been “just a guy” for 3 seasons now – Doug Baldwin or Jermaine Kearse can handle that level of production.  Wilson will have a nice day against a below average Buccaneers pass defense, and he’s a clear start to me if you’re choosing between 2 QB’s and don’t have an elite guy this weekend.

Ravens at Browns

Sit ’em RB Ray Rice: Rice is quickly approaching RB3 level which is not something you want when talking about someone that was taken in the 1st round this summer.  The good news for a down season is that Rice has had an occasionally excellent week (like Week 5 vs Miami 102 total yards and 2 TD’s), and he’s had a bye week to get some much needed rest.   But here’s the bad news – Rice’s current season’s YPC is a horrific 2.8, and he has just 3 total TD’s through 7 games.  Rice looks like the “oldest” 26 year old to ever play the game,  and looks slow and beat up.  Some of  this is the general failure of Baltimore to run at all, as the younger and larger Bernard Pierce has also struggled.  It got so bad the team even brought in Beanie Wells for a change of pace (and poor Wells tore his ACL during the workout!) If your team can only start 2 RB’s and you have 3 options – Rice is a sit against tough matchups nowadays, if you have a flex spot or an RB3 you probably still have to take a chance most weeks with Rice – but it’s not looking like a dramatic turn around is imminent.  The Browns have a decent 11th ranked run defense and I’m no longer convinced that against a team of this level that Rice is a “must start”.  Consider other options this week.

Sit ’em RB Willis McGahee: Speaking of old and beat up, here’s a guy that’s actually both.  The Browns are sort of shuffling their backfield around constantly- and this combined with McGahee’s achy knees has resulted in him only getting an average of 9-12 touches a week.  Willis is simply not at the stage of his career where he can really produce with so few opportunities, and he doesn’t appear to be able to handle a 20+ touch workload (they did it once with 26 carries in week 5, and he hasn’t been able to recover).  I had hope McGahee would develop into a low end RB2 this season, but it looks like that hope is expiring quickly, and currently he’s a very low end RB3, and probably not an option if you have a flex spot (def not in PPR).  Keep him rostered for a few more weeks to see if he can get his workload back to normal for a starting RB, but keep him on your bench until he can cross that 15 carry mark.

Steelers at Patriots

Start ’em RB Steven Ridley – Few things in fantasy this year have been more perplexing to me than Ridley’s recent run to fantasy relevance.  Through his 1st 5 games of the season Ridley looked terrible running for over 50 yards just 1 time, and getting 0 Td’s.  He looked DONE.  TOAST.  EL FINITO.  Owners probably couldn’t dump him because he was likely drafted in the 1st 3 rounds of your league’s fantasy draft, and you were counting on him.  Well, inexplicably Ridley has rewarded any patience shown to him – as over his last 3 games he hasn’t once totaled under 50 yards, while piling up 4 Td’s.  Pittsburgh’s run defense – usually a hallmark, is well below average this season at 27th overall.  So continue to rely on Ridley this week as a RB2, and be glad the Pats have worked him back into their gamplans.  (IF YOU WANTED A GRONKOWSKI VERDICT = IF HE PLAYS YOU START HIM)

Colts at Texans

Start ’em RB Ben Tate: And here I am recommending a guy with 4 broken ribs, what a fantasy season this has been.  The Colts have a terrible run defense, (29th in NFL) and with Case Keenum as your QB – you have to think the Texans will try to establish the run.  Arian Foster (gametime decision), if he suits up will at best get 50% of the workload as (hopefully) the Texans won’t push him on a bad hamstring.  Even injured, and even if his workload is capped Tate makes a nice play this week as a flex, or even a very low end RB2.  I mean if you’ve owned Tate at all in your fantasy life you know that these are the types of conditions and matchups that you wait all year to play him in.  His points could fluctuate anywhere between 6-20, so as an upside lotto pick he is probably worth it over your bench full of under-producers or bye week starters.

 

:by Mike

2013 – Week 9 Waiver Add/Drop

So it seems like every week I’m able to say we’ve gotten a sleeper for you (if you’ve followed our advice) that likely won your week or even saved your season.  We told you about TE Jordan Reed (and then reminded you) before anyone knew he was on pace to be fantasy’s 3rd overall TE.   WR Terrance Williams was our choice before he was the star’s. We told you about RB Andre Ellington before he became the only RB to own in Arizona.  We advised you to pick up Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon prior to their triumphant returns from suspension…. as well as making literally dozens of other correct calls over the previous 8 weeks.

Last week we advised most of you to go and grab WR Marvin Jones – all he did was go out and drop 4 TD’s on the world this past weekend.

So look we have a really good track record at this – but now as the season passes its midpoint there will be less game changers and options on your league’s waiver wire.   Also, with Ron on vacation some of this site’s content will be in “lite” mode this week.

And with these 2 factors in mine I present a scaled down version of our Add/Drop – without our normal leveling system.  I am just going to list some players and their potential benefits to your team.  If the last month is any indication 1-2 of these players will really impact your team.

WR Percy Harvin – Like with TE Jordan Reed this is your last warning from us to get this guy.  And as with Gordon and Blackmon the time to get him is before he is ready to play a down – because once his 2013 season debut kicks off that’s it.  Average size leagues likely still have him available, and again we know it won’t be for 2-3 more games, but Seattle just lost WR Sidney Rice for the season- they need a playmaking WR and Golden Tate just used up all his TD’s this weekend.  When Harvin comes back he will be the clear focal point of Seattle’s passing attack.  There is no one sitting out there on waivers like this – too much potential to not pick him up and wait.

RB Andre Brown – I’m sort of grouping Harvin and Brown together.  Brown has far less potential than Percy as a player – but in fantasy I’m actually pretty hopeful for him.  Brown is due to return from injury likely as soon as the Giants get back from their bye in week 9.  Here’s the current state of the NY Giants running game: David Wilson started the year fumbled a hundred times (I rounded up) got benched, then got hurt in the neck – which is always a difficult injury to predict.  The Giants cut D’arrell Scott then resigned him 50 times (I rounded up) to where he’s currently cut.  Rookie Michael Cox sucks his own last name, and Brandon Jacobs had the best night of any Giants RB all year and then promptly got hurt.  This means when Brown returns his primary competition for starter’s carries will be Peyton Hillis.   Hillis had an ok game vs the Eagles (90 total yards), but he walked in off the street and isn’t exactly durable himself.  Brown is younger and more talented than Hillis, and hopefully soon he’ll be just as healthy.  Get Brown while the Giants are on bye this week – then in 2-3 weeks laugh as you think about how a starting RB was just sitting there quietly on your waiver wire.  As with Harvin make us stop reminding you multiple times – just go and make your move already.

WR Dexter McCluster – McCluster’s 3.5 year career has been a case of talent without opportunity.  I’m not gonna argue the Chiefs have completely figured out a way to keep McCluster involved (or even upright) – but he is trending in the right direction since switching from RB to WR 2 seasons ago.  Instead of grooming McCluster to be a change-of-pace homerun style rb, and instead of making him a typical downfield slot WR, the Chiefs are settling on a nice compromise (finally) of working Dexter as a major part of their short yardage passing attack.  It’s perfect for McCluster’s ability to quickly accelerate underneath and work with dump offs.   Last week he was targeted 10 times, and in the last 2 games he’s had about 140 total yards and a TD.   In a PPR league McCluster is probably must own right now for his potential as a flex play, but this does come with some caution: McCluster has disappeared before, so you are sort of placing some faith in the Chiefs to keep him in their plans.   Right now, I’d make that gamble.

WR Rishard Matthews – Matthews is a little deeper grab than McCluster, but I like his talent.  Brandon Gibson’s season ending injury (before which we recommended picking him up and he got a very early TD before going down) has opened up a job for Matthews.  Matthews in my mind is as talented or moreso than Gibson, but the issue here is chemistry with QB Ryan Tannehill.  Matthews got 6 targets last week in 3/4th’s of a game after Gibson left – if he sees 6-8 targets a week he will be a borderline flex play or Wr3, but if he develops more of a relationship with Tannehill as the season continues and his targets are 8-10, than we’re talking a Wr3 play or solid flex play especially in PPR.

RB Deji Karim- Here’s your uber longshot of the week.   I don’t even know if Karim will play a down of football this season – but with starter RB Arian Foster and top back up RB Ben Tate injured right now for the Texans, it’s possible that at least for a few weeks one of the 3 players the Texans brought in for RB depth becomes a fantasy factor.  Of the 3 – Ray Graham, Dennis Johnson, and Deji Karim- I actually really like Johnson’s talent best.  But Karim is a veteran of the league better suited to have an all around NFL ready game (pass protection etc), and Karim was sort of the leader of the 3 during the Texans preseason (until Ciere Wood stole the gig- and then smoked it away).  So here you are in the middle of the week, you don’t know if both Foster and Tate will miss action, you know Karim is no fantasy factor if they both can play, and you have doubts about him producing if he’s the just the backup to any one of them individually.  But, he should be the 1st one they turn to if they have to – both of the guys in front of him have nagging style injuries (hamstring, ribs) which could mean time for Deji in some form for multiple weeks.  And let’s face it the Houston run game makes people productive – if you have the bench room add him and see if this develops into a spot where a role player on a real team becomes a RB2/3 on a fantasy team.  Oh yeah, and dump him for Dennis Johnson if Johnson gets in and shows any sign of life 🙂

RB Jonathan Stewart – You thought I was gonna say RB Mike Tolbert didn’t you? Well I say, take your pick.  Tolbert has been a little hot lately – scoring 3 TD’s in the last 3 games, and last Thursday totaling 64 yards to go with a TD.   But, Tolbert’s value is dependent on the Panthers  being up, and most times being near the goaline.  Jonathan Stewart is due back from injury in the next game or 2 (so the Panthers say), when he comes back he will undoubtedly eat into Tolbert’s fantasy value – maybe even to the point where Tolbert loses his precious goalline work.   So you have Tolbert who is just a solid guy, and Stewart who is more talented, but has proven so brittle in the past…and that they both will see time if active with DeAngelo Williams….it seems like something every owner should avoid.  And you should…except well, in it’s easy to say “you don’t want that guy- too much risk”, but in reality, when you play in leagues with 10-12 teams you are going to have issues, you are going to need to take chances on guys for starts or flex plays, or bench depth.  And for that both of these guys are in play….if you’re struggling now and need a RB to help spot start or take RB3 or flex value…Tolbert could be your guy for a few games.   If your team is sorta set up well at RB right now and you have a roster spot to speculate…why not grab Stewart (if someone like Andre Brown isn’t available)?  Stewart is the only one of the two with a chance to win starter quality carries, and again may even get those valuable goalline looks if he stays upright.  Both Tolbert and Stewart are worth considering, but only Stewart has that true “sleeper” potential – albeit it with much more risk.

:by Mike

2013 Week 8: We Told You So…

As usual in between advising the best players to pick up in your league off of waivers, til before we give you advice on who to start this coming week.  Let’s do a little scorecard review of how our Week 8 Sit/Start advice went.  We do this to show, that hey – sometimes you have the right rationale and things don’t work out, sometimes you make a great call, and sometimes – well you’re just wrong from the get-go.

We had a great week this week.  Lots of hits and very few misses.  See, we told you to listen to us.

Here are a few of the highlights.

We told you so…

Sit ‘em WR Steve Smith: 4 catches  for 42 yards.  He is a WR3/flex pay now a days.  He should only be started based on match ups.  We hit it on the head last week.

Start ‘em – RB Lamar Miller:  18 for 89 and 3 for 23 we predicted about 120 yards.  We are almost psychic, but we are definitely awesome.

Sit ‘em – WR Dwayne Bowe: 1 catch for 7 yards.  one for 7… think about that.  Then look up his salary. Resist the urge to throw yourself off a bridge.

Start ‘em – RB Darren McFadden: 78 total yards and 2 tds  RUN DMC is back from injury and looked ok against the Steelers.  His production was more than ok.

Start ‘em – WR Antonio Brown: 9 catches for 82 yards. He is worth more in a PPR league, but this guy  is a must start every week.

Start ‘em RB Andre Ellington:  15 carries for 154 yards, a  td and 2 catches for 8.  He is an every week flex back from this day forward. I am pretty sure that this will be his average workload moving forward – results from that workload may very.

Start ‘em TE Jordan Reed: 8 Catches for 90 yards.  RG3 looks his way early and often.  He has quickly become a TE1.  Who woulda thunk that?  You are also glad we told you to pick him up weeks ago!

Sit ’em RB Gio Bernard:  5 carries for 18 yards  and 1 catch for 9 yards.  If I told you the Bengals would put up 49 points and he would only have 27 total yards, you would have told me I nuts.  I still might be nuts, but we told you to sit him.  Listen to us, we know of what we speak.

We missed…

Start ‘em _ RB Khiry Robinson: 7 carries for 9 yards.  ummm ya… that is not exactly they type of production we were looking for here.

Start ‘em RB Jacquizz Rodgers: 4 touches 18 yards. Steven Jackson is back and this looks to make ‘The Quizz”  unstart-able.

Start ‘em WR Greg Jennings: 1 catch 9 yards. That’s a steaming pile of crap, is what that is.

Sit ‘em –  Any Ram:  This was a miss if you started Stacy, otherwise you should listen to us.

Push…

Sit ‘em RB CJ Spiller: We told you to sit him and he didn’t even play.  Incomplete grade, but I bet you are glad you sat him.  You DID sit him, right?

Sit ‘em – QB Jason Campbell :  293 and 2 tds  Great numbers for a start in KC with limited talent around him.  He was only worth a desperation start last week.  If he does this again… then color us interested.

Start ‘em: QB Michael Vick: pulled his hammy again. Incomplete grade.

:by Ron

2013: Start ’em or Sit ’em Week 8

Hello fantasy fans – as we approach the midpoint of the 2013 season I hope the fantasy fortunes have smiled upon you.  If they haven’t, well fight on anyway – here’s our weekly sit/start with some suggestions you can use, and maybe some you haven’t thought of…we try to avoid the very obvious “start Calvin Johnson stuff here”.  As always we are available here at Art Of Score to answer specific lineup questions if you have them.  So leave below in the comments anything you’d like to have discussed.

Panther vs Buccaneers

Sit ’em WR Mike Williams – New QB Mike Glennon simply hasn’t looked anywhere else at WR but Vincent Jackson since taking over the reigns 2 games ago. Williams is reasonably talented, and you may be tempted to start him as a bye week replacement given that in the wake of the RB Doug Martin injury Tampa should be throwing more.  But you simply cannot underrate the importance of a QB and WR chemistry – and based on his targets he is simply not that involved right now.  Williams also has a minor hamstring injury, which he should be able to play through, but owners shouldn’t be excited about his availability.

Sit ’em WR Steve Smith – This is a “maybe” sit depending on your individual team’s depth.  Smith can run hot or cold, and while he is the Panthers #1 WR, QB Cam Newton has been far from a model of consistency this season.  Even with a fairly high target number, if those passes aren’t very accurate Smith won’t have a big day.  There is also the Revis factor to consider.  The Bucs haven’t been playing Revis enough in isolation lately, but you’d have to think on a team with limited aerial weapons like the Panthers – Revis will draw the Smith assignment more than not.  If you have bye week issues or poor depth, you probably still start Smith – but if you have a WR3 you like this may be the week to promote him over Smith in your starting lineup.

Cowboys vs Lions

Sit ’em  – WR Miles Austin:  He is still working his way back from injury and I think that Terrence Williams will be cutting into his playing time for the rest of the year.  I would wait until he shows something unless you are desperate

Sit ’em – Detroit TE’s :  I don’t think you can count on Fauria or Pettigrew as TE1 on a weekly basis. At best they are bye week or injury fill ins. Their production is too inconsistent.

Bills at Saints

Sit ’em RB CJ Spiller: I know, I know.  When you drafted him over the summer he was the centerpiece of your team.  He’s a terrifically talented RB that seemed to have 2013 destiny written all over him.  Well I’m here to give you the reality – he’s hurt, and the Bills insist on not giving him enough touches to be a credible factor.  Now whether his injury is the cause of not getting enough touches is debatable (I feel like even before Spiller was on the injury report every week, he was still losing work to Fred Jackson).   The Saints aren’t a particularly bad matchup, although they are 11th overall in the league in total defense (just 22nd against the rush), but Spiller just seems to be in that bad of shape + situation.  If you can live with/need the maximum of 6-8 pts that Spiller will give you in this one than use him – but it may be time to give another “bench” RB on your team a chance to crack the starting lineup.  Spiller is just not right nowadays and the fix for that doesn’t appear to be on its way anytime soon.

Start ’em RB Khiry Robinson – As a flex option only (and potentially even over Spiller), Robinson is worth a look for a potential 7-10 points this weekend.  Robinson has slowly come on the last 2 games as the Saints have put Mark Ingram to rest with an “injury” which has no timetable.  Robinson is still just the 3rd option in the Saints backfield so his workload is very, very suspect – but against weaker teams (The Bills are 28th in the league vs the run) he is capable of similar performances to his 7 carry 53 yard 1 TD performance week 6 performance.  He’s a little boom or bust, but the talent is there and the matchup seems right this week for a little more boom.

49’ers vs Jacksonville

Sit ’em –  RB Maurice Jones-Drew:  I love MJD, but his line is awful and he looks slow this year.  I know his lisfranc injury is the type of injury that takes a while to come back from, so maybe he is still working his way back to form.  Against this defense, it would be best on tempering any expectations for him this week.  I understand if you have to start him, just don’t expect much.

Dolphins vs Patriots

Start ’em – RB Lamar Miller:  I am not sure that the Pats have a S or a LB that can cover him out of the backfield.  The Patriots are ranked a pathetic 31st in the league vs the run, and just last week allowed Chris Ivory to literally get off his team’s bench and go for 100 yards on them.  Miller, a season long starter seems to have 120 combined yards in him.

Browns vs Chiefs

Sit ’em – WR Dwayne Bowe: Look up the stats of what Joe Haden has done against the opposing team’s top WR this year.  Then, look at Bowe’s overall production.  That is why your are sitting him this week.

Sit ’em – QB Jason Campbell :  I think Jason Campbell helps this team. He could play well and still not have great stats.  KC is just too tough on defense to recommend a start. You’re likely very in need to even think about starting Campbell in the 1st place, trust us there’s a better backup QB option somewhere.

Steelers vs Raiders

Start ’em – RB Darren McFadden: He should be back for this game and I think he will play well.  His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield will be an asset in this game. I don’t see Jarvis Jones or Lamar Woodley handling him out of the backfield.

Start ’em – WR Antonio Brown:  He is amongst the leaders in targets this year and has only had one big game.   I think he has the potential for that this week.

Giants at Eagles

Sit ’em: QB Eli Manning – The way Manning played on Monday night this week leads me to believe he is done as a very good, or even good QB.  This may mean done for 2013, or done for the rest of his career…I’m not sure yet.  Yes, the Giants have other issues that contribute to his struggles – but watch the game tape – Manning isn’t even recognizing open targets anymore.  He very nearly threw another game changing INT for a TD, but the Minnesota CB flat out dropped the ball.  So you have bye week issues and you see a weak Philly defense on the schedule , and you think “well, I’ve had Eli in reserve all season – time to use him”….I’m saying not so fast.  I’m saying maybe take a chance on a guy like Mike Glennon or someone comparable because they’re just not a lot of QB’s playing worse football than Eli Manning right now.

Start ’em: QB Michael Vick – maybe you’re thinking about using Eli Manning, because you’re also a Michael Vick owner and you’re not sure Vick is healthy enough to warrant a risk play.  I’m saying that he is – limited mobility or not, Vick was put on notice by Nick Foles’ limited run of success that he is replaceable and that motivating factor combined with getting to face a horrendous Giants defense (if Eli had benefits of playing the Vikings, the biggest benefit was the Giants defense that let several wide open WR’s run through them- only to have Josh Freeman miss them).  Vick may not reach the top 10 fantasy 2013 QB status he seemed destined for early in the year, but he certainly could be a top 8-10 QB this week.

Jets at Bengals

Sit ’em RB Gio Benard:  During his rookie season Bernard has had the typical inconsistent play you’d expect from a 1st year player.  To me he’s a slightly above average talent that doesn’t have everything necessary to dominate tough matchups.  The Jets defense qualifies as a “tough matchup”.  Currently the Jets are 4th overall in the NFL in total defense, with an even more impressive 2nd overall in rushing allowed (behind a Denver team that benefits from teams always having to turn the pass when they’re behind).  The Jets have a nasty front and it’s best to avoid the when you can.  You don’t make an exception for Bernard, you sit him if you have the depth to do so.

Start ’em WR Jeremy Kerley: Kerley’s 8 catch 97 yards and a TD vs New England last week may have you a little skeptical.  It’s fair to ask where Kerley was before that, and I have 2 credible answers for you: injury and opportunity.  Kerley was banged up to start the season with a concussion and that caused him to be a little behind in the game planning with a new QB and a new offense.  Well, with Santonio Holmes being out with injury and the Jets in need of a veteran presence Kerley’s opportunity is now.  If you need a mid level flex play, or a bye week replacement Kerley could respresent Wr3 – low end Wr2 numbers this week.  The Jets are starting to gain faith in him…so should you.

Falcons at Cardinals

Start ’em RB Jacquizz Rodgers: If you’ve followed the Art of Score for any length of time you know we are not Rodgers fans. In fact, this recommendation wounds my soul.  However, without Julio Jones, maybe without WR Roddy White, and a Steven Jackson who is threatening to play – without a lot to back it up….the Falcons are short on options.   It’s a case where volume of work should equal production, because while I don’t expect Rodgers to have a good game running the ball – you can’t discount that they will force it to him in the air.  Last week he caught 2 TD passes. I wouldn’t expect that this weekend, but I would expect him to get enough looks to be a viable start, with maybe even a shot at RB 2 type of production.  I’d start him over CJ Spiller for example…(gosh that’s painful)

Start ’em RB Andre Ellington:  See the analysis of Rodgers above, right down to the I’m not crazy about him as a player.  Ellington is actually probably a little better player than Rodgers, but his surrounding situation is much worse.  He’s a pass 1st gadget RB, but with the Cardinals offense a wreck I suspect they will have to throw a lot in this one – won’t be able to do much deep, and have to rely on dump offs to Ellington.  It may not be exciting…but if you’re a fantasy owner you’ll take it every time.

Redskins at Broncos

Until further notice you are to start all Broncos starters, if you have to be told this, you probably shouldn’t be playing fantasy football. Seriously, we are gonna stop talking about them, if you have any of Denver’s starters you need to play them weekly because the potential payoff is too high to sit them. Not all of them will have monster weeks in and out, but most of them will be above average starts, if not elite, for most weeks.

Start ’em TE Jordan Reed: I doubted Reed when he was drafted, and even right now as a Redskins fan I think his value is super-inflated for fantasy purposes (although I was one of the 1st people to recommend adding him to your fantasy teams weeks and weeks ago before his coming out party last week)…but you can’t deny that after Pierre Garcon, Reed is RG3’s favorite target.   If it seems like a sudden thing you can’t put a lot of stock in, consider that the Broncos will likely put a lot of pressure on the Redskins offense by going up early and then blitzing (their normal mode of operation).  This means the Redskins will need to throw the ball, and while it’s relatively easy to pay more attention to Garcon, it’s more difficult to defend the type of blitz defying hot routes Reed is likely to be running.  I would be shocked if Reed had less than 10 targets in this one, and he has shown an ability to cash in on those when needed.   He could very well approach another 100 yard 1 td performance.   He’s worth starting over disappointing limited upside TE’s like Greg Olsen or Jared Cook, and he may help you out if you’ve recently lost a TE like Jermichael Finley.

Packers at Vikings

Start ’em WR Greg Jennings: I say this very tentatively: Jennings makes a nice sleeper pick at WR this week.   We all saw Josh Freeman set the QB position back to the days of George Blanda on Monday Night – but the good news is, he’s out with a concussion (I mean good from a fantasy perspective, heal up buddy…).  And the Vikings aren’t going back to QB Matt Cassell either (why would they? they don’t really want to win), instead they are going all the way back to September of 2013 for Christian Ponder.   Ponder is not an NFL every week starter – but he can complete passes (something Freeman couldn’t do), and he does look for Jennings in the passing game. Jennings should be a focal point for Ponder as he attempts to regain his confidence, as Jennings is clearly the most competent of an underwhelming Vikings WR corps. And then there’s the fact that Jennings will be playing his old team for the 1st time – you can overblow the revenge factor in sports a lot…but if there’s one position that can be “fed” the ball to make a point or to reward someone it’s WR.   I think Jennings gets even more targets than normal in this game and we may see a flash of old school production from him.  He’s worth a gamble this week all the way up to a WR2- although solid flex play may be more realistic.

Start ’em RB Eddie Lacy – Lacy totaled over 100 yards from scrimmage (82 on the ground) vs a very good Cleveland Browns front 7 last week.   He’s quietly becoming an every week must start for your fantasy team.  Minnesota’s run defense is in the bottom 1/3rd of the league, and they let Peyton Hillis of all people score on them last week: not good.   With TE Jermichael Finley’s loss, the Packers have lost some major weapons and depth in their passing game which should shift the emphasis to Lacy even more.  Against tougher defenses the limiting of passing weapons may allow defenses to key in and limit Lacy, but this week the Vikings are not talented enough to really make him a non-factor.  Expect a very nice game from Lacy.

Seahawks vs Rams

Sit ’em –  Any Ram:  Kellen Clemens is a potential turnover machine. How bad is he? There are confirmed reports the Rams tried to lure Brett Farve out of retirement this week to finish out the season for them.  This says a lot about the Rams organization as a whole, and I propose that they currently are the worst run franchise in the NFL.  So take heart Jacksonville, there’s at least one team make dumber personnel decisions than you.  The Seahawks have the #2 defense in the NFL for yardage, so this promises to be brutal. Even RB Zac Stacy is a weak play this week.   Lay off the Rams until you see some light.

:by Mike & Ron

2013: Picks For Week 8

The war for the Taco is almost over, it would take some serious moves by Tim and I to catch Ron – thanks to his week 3 absence.  But solider on we must…let’s see who knows what this week…

Overall Standings

updates coming  soon…

Ron

Tim

Mike

*Ron only picked one game week 3 due to being in South Africa

Ron’s Picks

Panthers over Buccaneers
Lions over Cowboys
49ers over Jaguars
Chiefs over Brown’s
Patriots over Dolphins
Saints over bills
Eagles over Giants
Bengals over Jets
Steelers over Raiders
Falcons over Cardinals
Broncos over Redskins
Packers over Vikings
Seahawks over Rams

Mike’s Picks

Panthers over Buccaneers
Cowboys over Lions
49’ers over Jags
Cheifs over Browns
Patriots over Dolphins
Saints over Bills
Giants over Eagles
Bengals over Jets
Steelers over Raiders
Falcons over Cardinals
Broncos over Redskins
Packers over Vikings
Seahawks over Rams

Tim’s Picks

Panthers over Buccaneers
Cowboys over Lions
49ers over Jaguars
Chiefs over Brown’s
Patriots over Dolphins
Saints over Bills
Eagles over Giants
Bengals over Jets
Steelers over Raiders
Falcons over Cardinals
Broncos over Redskins
Packers over Vikings
Seahawks over Rams

 

2013 Week 7: We Told You So

As usual in between advising the best players to pick up in your league off of waivers, til before we give you advice on who to start this coming week.  Let’s do a little scorecard review of how our Week 7 Sit/Start advice went.  We do this to show, that hey – sometimes you have the right rationale and things don’t work out, sometimes you make a great call, and sometimes – well you’re just wrong from the get-go.

We had a great week this week.  Lots of hits and very few misses.  See, we told you to listen to us.

Here are a few of the highlights.

We told you so…

Start em – WR Vincent Jackson: Two more TD’s and another 100 yard game.  This guy really has something going with Rookie QB Mike Glennon

Start ‘em –WR Steve Smith: 5 for 69 and went for  and a TD.   This is just about what we thought here.

Sit ‘em –Rams offense: If you avoided this team last week you are not a wiener you’re a winner.

Sit ‘em – Lions TE’s: Pettigrew 3 catches for a whopping 7 yards.  He did get in the end zone to salvage something.  Fauria one catch for 15 yards.

Start ‘em – RB Ryan Matthews: His second consecutive 100 yard day. He even reached pay dirt. Things could be looking up for

Start ‘em – QB Andy Dalton: 372 and 3 touchdowns. Ladies and Gentlemen, the “Red Rocket” is on a roll

Start ‘em – TE Rob Gronkowski: 8 for 114.  His arm and back look ok to me.

Start’ em – RB Le’von Bell: 19 for 93 yards and a catch for 6 yards.  A touchdown would have been icing on this flex play

Start ‘em –TE Jermichael Finley: 5 for 72 and a touchdown.  Too bad about his injury.  He was having a good year.

Sit ‘em – RB Joseph Randle: 19 carries and only 65 yards.  That’s about what we figured for him.  An unremarkable game by most accounts.

We missed…

Start ‘em – RB Bilal Powell: Well we were right that someone was going to run for 100 yards against the Patriots. For some reason Powell was phased out and Ivory ran the rock 34 times!

Start ‘em – RB Trent Richardson: Maybe he just isn’t as good as people think he is.   He has been struggling and last game was no different. He also lost a crucial fumble.

Sit ‘em – QB Matt Ryan: 273 and 3 TD’s without Julio and Roddy.  Good job Matt Ryan, you should us something even if it was against the Bucs.

Push…

Start ‘em – QB Colin Kapernick: 199 yards passing and 68 rushing and a rushing TD, isnt a bad day by any standard.  We just thought he would do more through the air.

Sit’em – Seahawks WR’s: As we have been saying all year its a crapshoot.  Tate and Rice had OK games. Baldwin was the odd man out last week.

Start ‘em – WR Justin Blackmon: 9 targets 6 catches but only 58 yards.  depends on your league, in a PPR he was OK, yardage league not so much.

Start ‘em – WR Pierre Garcon: 8 targets 5 catches for 58 yards.  see above.

 

:by Ron

2013 – Week 8 Waiver Add/Drop

Last week we warned you for the last time to go out and grab TE Jordan Reed & RB Chris Ivory before it was too late.  Actually we shouted about it for weeks – now wouldn’t Reed be good on your team if say you had Jermichael Finley go down with injury this weekend? Or Ivory as an option if you owned Doug Martin? I’d also like to remind everyone that we advised picking up WR Percy Harvin ahead of the crowd last week as well…you may still have time on him if you didn’t…but time is running out.

And week 7 in the NFL had several significant injuries, but only some of them provide opportunity for you as a fantasy owner.  It’s a cruel reality, but someone else’s misfortune can be your gain. We’ll help you turn those salty tears into gumdrops.

As always what we’ll do here is make recommendations on 3 levels. Level 1 guys are so obvious that they were either drafted in your league on draft day already, or you will have to fight with other owners over them on the wire. Level 2 guys are decent risks that may not always pan out, but more of them may be available in your league to serve your purposes.  And finally level 3 guys are more of the longshot homerun guys – but if your need is great, or if you play in a deep league – these might be the only guys you have a chance at….

Level 1

RB Ben Tate – Tate may not be owned in more shallow leagues, and though I am hesitant to recommend a player that fumbles, and to over exaggerate any injury to Arian Foster – I need to recommend adding him anywhere you can.  Tate has broken rib issues, and Foster has a bye to help get healthier on his hamstring…but as insane as this sounds rib injuries are better for a RB to be dealing with, and as the Texans fall out of contention they are likely to continue to ease Foster’s workload if they can.  The Texans will have to add someone new to the mix, since they cut 3rd string RB Cierre Wood for pot smoking over the weekend – but it’s tough to see anyone new really challenging a banged up Tate for work.  Tate sometimes lives off of hype so don’t expect clear sailing if you get him, but he could be a great RB2 over the next few weeks for you.

RB Mike James – James is worth a level 1 grade for now, because it’s about to be week 8 and there are really very few options on the waiver wire for starting RB’s.  Doug Martin’s shoulder injury may have him on the shelf for the season – or at the very least significant time, and in that time “someone” has to get the workload.  I think James is fairly talented, but buyer has to beware here – the Buccaneers couldn’t get Doug Martin going, there’s no real reason to believe James will have good success.  Personal favorite RB Bobby Rainey was picked up by the Bucs off of waivers as well – but make no mistake you should be way more concerned about the general offensive challenges of the team rather than the competition.  But fantasy football is a lot about supply and demand at the RB spot, so if you need a RB3/flex type of option…James is worth the add.

Level 2

RB Roy Helu – Even in some average size leagues I suspect Helu is available.  This was with good reason, as the Redskins have been slow to define his role this season.  But, Helu is starting to be used more and more – particularly in the Redskins no huddle offense, and was a huge performer with 3 TD’s over the weekend.  Alfred Morris owners need not panic (although they should pick up Helu if available), but Helu does present another option to teams looking for flex level RB play.  Helu is more talented than Mike James, and probably more than Ben Tate – but his workload going forward will be much more erratic than those two and without a general “touch” number week to week starting him will be a matter of matchup and luck.  Still Helu needs to clearly be owned in all leagues at this point even if just for bench depth.

RB Shane Vereen – Speaking of a guy with talent, Vereen finally took his cast off at practice last week – which may be a sign of him returning in a few weeks.  Vereen’s brittle injury history combined with a logjam at RB in New England – may not scream to you that he should be added weeks before he is announced as being ready to play.  However, Vereen’s outstanding season opener (159 total yards) should put him on track to some sort of significant role in the New England offense when he returns.  The big question here, is when?  So do you pick him up now when he may still be out for 2-3 games?  This depends on your roster space and your team’s need to have producers over the next few weeks, if you can squeeze him on the team do so, because if somehow he is available to play soon he’ll be a level 1 type of guy without question and your whole league might get in on trying to grab him.

WR Brandon Gibson – Gibson was quietly moving up the Dolphins passing pecking order this season (74 vs Balt in Week 5 before the bye) until this weekend’s 2 TD explosion.  With 29 catches on the season Gibson is probably a better PPR start than non, but he has interesting flex value when the Dolphins play teams with weak secondaries (I notice they play NE this week).

WR Marvin Jones –   In each of the last 2 weeks Jones has caught a TD pass and appears to be winning the 2nd WR spot for the Bengals.  I like Jones’ overall game, and the questions only remain for me about his role and targets – but you have to like the fact that they are trending up.  He may not initially have the production of Douglas or Gibson – but to me his upside is much higher.  If he goes out and has a 3rd solid game this weekend he’ll be a no brainer add….get him before then if you need WR help.

WR Harry Douglas – Look, the Falcons don’t have much else at this point so while it’s unlikely Douglas will go 149 yards and a 1 TD every week, he does have weekly flex fantasy starter material written on him.  When Roddy White returns – Douglas will lose some targets perhaps, but he is assured playing time and targets as long as he’s healthy.  He probably just had his best game of the season, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help your team going forward.

TE Coby Fleener – I don’t love Fleener’s talent, and even as TE’s go he can be inconsistent.  But if he’s sitting out there in your league and you need TE help here’s a guy that might see more targets with WR Reggie Wayne being lost for the season to ACL injury.  Don’t drop a good TE2 for him, but if you have an ok TE starter and a questionable backup it may be time to add Fleener.

Level 3

RB Daniel Thomas – Thomas may have been cut by some owner earlier this season, b/c let’s fact it: nobody wants to own or draft Daniel Thomas.  And I am loathe to bring him up here – and only advise this as a desperation add. But, Thomas looked pretty good vs the Bills this weekend with 60 yards on 12 carries, and appears to be in the mix at the RB position.  He’s not very talented and this has to be more of a hurt to Lamar Miller owners than a fantasy option…but should Miller get even a little banged up – it appears Thomas is ready to go.  I mean 12 carries is a lot of work for a “backup” RB….Thomas appears to be creeping into RB committee territory and could be useful to a (very) desperate fantasy team.

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey – Our own Tim Brown championed Bey during the preseason as a sleeper for 2013.  Bey had a tougher time than we expected transitioning to the Colts’ offense, but like Fleener above, Reggie Wayne’s injury should open the door to more looks for Bey.  Bey won’t elevate to WR2 level in all likelihood,  but he could provide your team with some WR3 low level flex play -and gets even a little more boost in a PPR league.

QB Case Keenum – Keenum is the only QB of those thrust into action this week (McCown in CHI, Clemmens in STL, Campbell in CLE?) who will be worth rostering on potential.  It’s not that he’s great.  He’s not – he arguably has a bad NFL arm and may struggle as teams get tape on him.  But he does manage a good offense with weapons and has a bye week to presumably learn more with the 1st team.  I don’t know if he’s won the Texans starting job, but in deep leagues, or 2 QB leagues, or dynasty leagues he’s worth a speculative add – because while he may not have the job for long, or only have it for this season – there’s the slim chance he performs well enough to win the job outright.  And that’s a shot the other “fill-in” QB’s just don’t have.  Dynasty league value here is probably the highest, but if you have a redraft league with QB issues – as a lotto style backup option he may be worth a look.

WR Mike Brown – With Cecil Shorts struggling due to injury, Jacksonville has another WR getting garbage time points.  Brown’s huge 5 catch 120 yard day came out of nowhere and isn’t likely to be duplicated again this season – but if you need WR4/5 depth on your roster he may be worth a flier.  For you PPR players Brown has 9 catches over his last 2 games – and should Shorts continue to nurse injury – I expect Brown’s targets to remain steady.

DROPS

WR Tavon Austin – Austin did finally get behind a defense this week for a big play – but that play was canceled out by a tripping penalty.  The rookie WR, who I felt was terribly overhyped coming out of college has had a rough transition to the NFL game, and now with QB Sam Bradford out for the season there is no reason to own this guy in redraft leagues, even in very deep leagues he’s a questionable keep.  I don’t advise dropping TE Jared Cook just yet, because new QB’s tend to rely on TE’s to dump off the ball to….but Cook may also become a Kellen Clemmens causality drop in a game or two.

RB Chris Ogbonnaya – If you picked him up based off his week 6 80 total yards 1 TD performance it may be time to drop him already. 4 touches coming off of that game? 4?!!  And now he’s in a committee with Fozzy Whittaker behind McGahee?!!  The Cleveland Browns are infuriating for fantasy this year….total wild cards.

:by Mike