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.