Category Archives: Miami Dolphins

Post Draft Rookie Positional Rankings: WR

 

nfl-head-hitContinuing our way too soon rankings for you fantasy fans that can’t get enough, and you dynasty leaguers with deadlines to draft very soon.  We’ll tackle the clear marquis position from the 2014 draft:  The WR, lots of good value here – but who makes the best value, who makes the longest term contributions, who is ready to play right now?

Let’s take an initial look, put them in your input file, and let’s watch how they change over the course of the summer.

1.) Mike Evans – Buccaneers – Remember because these are early rankings without having seen this play out, my rankings are heavily influenced by who has the longest term value as a fantasy player over their career.   Evans is the top of a very good group, even though I’m not in love with his initial landing spot.   Evans is a massive target, runs well, and opposite Vincent Jackson will see a lot of single coverages in 2014.  But I think his real value is a few years down the line when Lovie finds a long term answer at QB, and when Jackson has relinquished primary redzone status.  I’m putting Evans at the top, just slightly ahead of Watkins because I really hate Watkins’ situation – and I feel Watkins is overrated to a degree.

2.) Sammy Watkins – Bills – Let’s get this out of the way, I don’t like the Bills giving up a ton to move up to grab Watkins.  It was a deep WR draft, therefore it was a stupid move. You do that for a once in a generational WR talent like Calvin Johnson, you don’t do it for a guy with very similar measurables to his former teammate DeAndre Hopkins.  There is a guy (or two) like Watkins every year. Anyway, a more practical reason to hate the move is for fantasy owners that are now staring at Watkins in Buffalo, with the cold, and the low output offense, and EJ Manuel.  I actually think Manuel could be better than people think, but better than people think doesn’t mean Watkins will be fantasy relevant in 2014.  He should be used a ton since the Bills fully committed to him, but the output of that commitment to me seems very much in flux.  In a few seasons if Manuel stabilizes himself Watkins could be a top 10 fantasy WR – so in rookie drafts I couldn’t blame you for taking him #1, there’s just a little too much hype, and a little too much situational discomfort for me to rank him 1st.

3.) Jordan Matthews – Eagles – This guy might be the best physical prospect in the draft.  I’m not kidding.  It’s tough to rank him over Evans and Watkins because he does need to polish a little bit of his game.  But in 2 seasons, he could very easily be the best WR in this class with some more instruction on route running.  I believe in him, and I definitely believe in the extremely high output Chip Kelly offense.  If he gets a one on one matchup in an uptempo offense he’ll be terrifying.  In dynasty drafts I would not blink if you put this guy as your your 1st pick, I’m higher on him than some – but I really feel in a short time you will see him rise to top 10 fantasy WR status.  In 2014 redrafts however, he’s little more than a late round flier as a WR 4 or 5.

4.) Brandon Cooks – Saints – Another WR with freaky measurables that landed in a fantastic spot.   Cooks actually is probably in the best position of these top 4 to contribute right away – he’s a burner on a nearly legendary passing offense.  But Cooks isn’t just a speedster he’s very strong for his 5’10 frame and should be able to handle press coverages at this level without much issue.    I think he also has a legit chance to pass Watkins during his career, but I’ll temper it with the fact that he may be saddled at some point with a complete change of offense after Drew Brees moves on.  In redraft leagues right now he’s the top guy I’m taking from this class – you could probably do a lot worse than having him as your fantasy team’s # 3 option in 2014.

5.) Odell Beckham – Giants – Beckham’s great combine really helped pushed him onto the charts.  How much so?  Well that the Giants took him 12th overall.  I don’t doubt that Odell can be productive in the NFL and in a jack-of-all-trades type of way if they let him explore his returner capabilities.   I do have some doubts about his explosiveness, as against better SEC competition in college he really struggled.  Ron and Tim would probably have Beckham at the same level, and higher than some of the 4 above.  I have him clearly as number 5.  And there’s nothing really wrong with that – heck for 2014 I could easily see him outproducing everyone from this class except for Cooks.  In redraft leagues right now think more low end WR3 high end Wr4 – in dynasty you’re welcome to take him higher than 5th, but to me he’s not quite there.

6.) Allen Robinson – Jaguars – In many ways I think Robinson the most underrated WR in this draft.  I know putting him above Lee and Benjamin probably seems ridiculous at 1st glance….but I believe he’s better physically than his new teammate Lee (although he is slower), and he’s got better instincts and moves than Benjamin.  The caveat here is Jacksonville – rookie QB, competition with Lee, and overall rookie growing pains on a bad team.  It’s a risk pick in dynasty that many people won’t make because they’ll assume Lee will be given more rope, and Robinson may not get a chance to shine.  So I wouldn’t blame anyone for flipping these 2 selections – but I want it on record that I think Robinson is the better player right now.  In 2014 redrafts you can delay this debate for another year – because Robinson is worth waiver wire consideration only.

7.) Marqise Lee – Jaguars – How the years have changed, last year at this time as people were looking forward to who might be the best WR in the following draft – Lee’s name was mentioned early and often.  Now with how deep the WR class became he’s almost relegated to an afterthought.  Lee’s in a tough spot here for a lot of reasons: my disdain for  Blake Bortles has already been mentioned (not that a rookie QB is usually a good thing regardless),  physically he’s not exceptional – not the biggest, not the fastest, and finally he’s got plenty of competition from Cecil Shorts & Allen Robinson.  Lee is probably a solid NFL WR but I don’t think he ever gets to elite status – and it’s certainly harder to see that in  Jacksonville where they need to define their entire offense for the 4th time in 6 years.  In redrafts for 2014 Lee may have value if the Jags force the ball his way to get him involved…I still let someone else take that risk.  In dynasty it’s not out of the question that Lee becomes a top 25 WR in 2 or 3 years.

8.) Cody Latimer – Broncos – Here’s a risky one that at 1st doesn’t seem like it.  I mean who wouldn’t want to be paired with Peyton Manning?  Well, how about a guy who’s just starting out may have to be eased into his role, and by the time he gets it his team has moved on to a new QB and a new philosophy?  I love Latimer’s strength, speed, and hands – but I’m not sure how big a part of the Broncos offense he’ll be in 2014 – and if you handicap Peyton with a 2 year window or so, I can’t guarantee Latimer will see the field enough with the Manning offense.  If I could do that,  Latimer easily jumps into top 4 of this draft – I believe in his talents that much.  I also believe long term he will make a great “Eric Decker” like prospect over the course of his career.  A solid fantasy #2, but for 2014 you really have to track reports out of Denver to see how he’ll be used.  He’s either a potential rookie sleeper, or a deep stash in dynasty.

9.) Kelvin Benjamin – Panthers – My dislike of how “stiff” a player Benjamin is cannot be overstated.  He’s like Plaxico Burress at 36, not Plaxico in his prime like what he’s been compared to…still he lands in a pretty good situation for himself.  The Panthers, as we discussed numerous times throughout the offseason, were cobbling together a WR corps after cutting Steve Smith.  Drafting Benjamin in the 1st round clearly shows their commitment to building a passing offense around him.  The problem is, for all the progress Cam Newton made last season, he’s largely still a check down, scramble QB leading a heavy run offense.  Benjamin doesn’t have much gamebreaking ability to create for himself and so will be tied very heavily to redzone usage – where his incredible height may give him an advantage – but he may not be top in the pecking order down there.  As he watches Cam run in another draw, I’m sure fantasy owners will appreciate his blocking.  He’s too big to write off completely, so in dynasty mid 2nd round pick, in redraft late flier if you’ve built your team well….but to me he has very high bust potential.

10.) Davante Adams – Packers – Adams initially is probably a fantasy non-factor in 2014.  But man, his landing spot – after this season the Packers will have to come to contract discussions with Jordy Nelson and Randle Cobb.  My guess is they’ll probably only sign one of them, leaving Adams in 2015 with competition from only Jarret Boykin & fellow rookie Jarred Abrederis for the #2 in an Aaron Rodgers’ offense.  Oh sure, the Packers could trade or draft someone prior to 2015 – but Adams is a solid option for them in house and should just be waiting in the wings for more and more playing time.  He’s riskier than guys like Benjamin or Lee, but his payoff if things break right could be very nice.  If you like upside guys dynasty leaguers aren’t out of their minds to draft him in the late 1st, early 2nd rounds of rookie drafts.

THE REST

Donte MoncreifColts – solid but not great measurables, won’t become the coveted future “go-to-guy” for Andrew Luck, but could hang around for years being a productive player.

Paul Richardson – Seahawks – they like his deep ball skill set.  But will they use it?  What overlap does that have with Percy Harvin’s game?

Jarvis Landry – Dolphins – I don’t think he’s special at all, but Dolphins will give him every chance to make it work.

Bruce Ellington  – 49’ers – Above average talent, but will he be buried on that roster?  Even if Crabtree leaves in 2015 and Boldin moves on after that he fits the burner role rather than the possession role the Niners have coveted.

Martavis Bryant – Steelers – Draft stock tumble was probably warranted – average possession level WR, could be useful career fantasy Wr3.

Jared Abbrederis – Packers – Bit of a wildcard good pass catcher, not fast, potentially a #3 in Green Bay which could spike value.  But may not be polished enough to grab gig and get lost in shuffle.

Devin Street – Cowboys – Underrated player chance to supplant Terrance Williams, but certainly no lock to do so.

Michael Campanaro – Ravens – One of my favorite sleepers, but on a traditionally low output offense shifting toward heavy TE use – he may be a story more of never was, than will be…

John Brown – Cardinals – To take this guy in the 3rd round shows the Cardinals must have plans for him.  Doesn’t mean those plans will pan out however.

Josh Huff – Eagles – Same as John Brown on a much better offense.

Quincy Enunwa – Jets – The best of a truly odd trio the Jets brought in to pair with Geno Smith. Long term he might work out….short term betting against it.

Jeremy Gallon – Patriots – There’s just too much competition for him – smallest WR drafted by Patriots since Bellichik took over, likely views him as special team coverage player.

Robert Herron – Bucs – Could carve out a speed role in a land of giant WR, but not confident the Bucs offense will utilize him.

Matt Hazel – Dolphins – I might be among the very few that wouldn’t be shocked by him beating out Jarvis Landry for playing time.

TJ Jones – Lions – I’m not so sure TJ makes the team, I know there is some fantasy teasing with a Lions WR, but not sure he can handle being a 3rd or 4th option at the pro level.

Ryan Grant – Redskins – No, not that Ryan Grant.  Great hands, average measurables, and a very crowded WR crew have him pegged for a preseason cut or practice squad.

Kevin Norwood Seahawks – Long odds to make the team, steady but not any kind of standout player.

Shaq Evans – Jets – Shaq Evans a 4th rd pick?!!  Oh you wacky Jets.

Jalen Saunders – Jets – Jalen Saunders a 4th rd pick even higher than Evans?!!!! Oh Jets….no…

 

:by Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 – Week 14 Waiver Add/Drop

It’s getting thin and most rosters are locking out soon.   This will be out last of the waiver wire pick ups section.  We will have thoughts moving forward more directed and dynasty and keeper as some of the younger players get looks for the teams that have fallen out of playoff contention.

As always look at our past waiver wire updates for players that still may be available in your league.

Next year, we will work on another format to keep track of previous weeks  waiver pickups  in a useful way for our readers.

Drops

You might want to consider dropping WR Percy Harvin.  I am not sure how much he is going to play and if he does, he probably isn’t worth the start.   This was a homerun swing type pick up, sometimes you win sometimes you lose.

You also might want to drop RB Brian Leonard.  He hasn’t gotten many touches since Bobby Rainey’s big game 2 weeks ago.  There isn’t much out there, but there isn’t any room on my team for a guy that doesn’t get the ball.

WR Michael Crabtree –we told you have him on your radar and pick him up the past few weeks.  If you did, you are sitting pretty with a nice WR3 with upside.  If you didn’t, you will have to battle the rest of the league for him.

WR Andre Holmes – He isn’t worth much in a redraft league at this point.  He is worth a flier in dynasty if you have the roster spot.   Pay close attention to him in the next few weeks.   Not a must pick up, but a guy to keep an eye on in dynasty

TE Ladarius Green – Well we told you to start him last week.  If you listened to us, you were rewarded.   He had a nice game.  He also played 91% of the offensive snaps.   That bodes well moving forward for him.  If he is still out there in your league, He is worth the pickup, especially if you are weak at TE.

Raiders Defense – We aren’t crazy.  They are playing the   Jets this week.  The Jets are playing some of the worst offensive football I have seen since the 1992 Seahawks.   This is a good match up play this week.  If you are looking for a little juice for this week’s game  and your playoff push, look to Oakland!

– Ron

 

2013 – Week 13 Waiver Add/Drop

Listen, if you read this blog, you know we know our stuff. Go back and look at our track record.  We have called out waiver wire picks weeks before those “other sites.”  We do not state the obvious.  We do the work and you get the results.

The wire is thin as usual at this time of the year, but there are always opportunities.  Even if you are out of it, pick up a player to screw a playoff bound owner.  Play Spoiler, remember fantasy football is supposed to be fun!

 

WR Tiquan Underwood – Last week’s game came out of nowhere as Underwood had games of 8, 6 and 2 points the past three weeks since Mike Williams has gone down.  I am not really sure how much you can expect out of him moving forward, but he is a pick up that can fill out the back end of your roster for the play off push.  Hopefully his 3 catch 108 yard and 2 TD performance spurs him on to bigger and better games.

RB Dennis Johnson – Ben Tate has been banged up and last week those injuries may have caught up with him.  He ran only 7 times for a whopping one yard. Johnson’s 87 all-purpose yards and 15 touches last week should get him more carries moving forward.  Who knows, with a little luck, maybe he carries your team into the playoffs.  As of now, he is a low level Flex, but watch him.

QB Mike Glennon – I am always leery of adding rookie QB’s to my fantasy rosters.  They are wildly inconsistent and I don’t like dealing with their ups and downs.  However, Glennon is bucking that trend. He has played remarkably consistent and is giving solid production.  He is viable QB2 in most leagues and even worth a spot start moving forward.

WR Michael Crabtree – I have no idea what he is going to provide you moving forward.  He is all the way back from that Achilles injury? Will he and Kaepernick have the same chemistry as last year?  I know none of this.  I do know that he is active and he is returning to a WR needy team.  He is worth the risk to pick up. Hopefully you grabbed him already if not grab him now and sit him.  Wait a week.  If he looked good, you can evaluate him based off of that.

WR Julian Edleman – Buyer beware here.  I am only recommending this as a desperation pick up. He is too inconsistent to be relied upon week to week, but he has the ability to blow up.  He is a boom or bust play every week.

RB Benny Cunningham – I can’t help but think of the show “Happy Days” when I hear Benny’s name. However, Ron Howard, Tom Bosley and Henry Winkler cannot carry the ball as well as Benny Cunningham has. Mike has been on him all offseason as an undrafted rookie out of Middle Tennessee State.  Zac Stacy went down and Benny stepped up.  13 carries and 107 yards.  Impressive, but it was against the horrendous Bears run defense. If he gets the start for Stacy, he is a flex start depending on match ups.  If he is a backup, he is worth rostering, but carries substantially less value. If he starts, it will be happy days for you as an owner.

 

-Ron

2013 – Week 12 Waiver Add/Drop

Listen, if you read this blog, you know we know our stuff. Go back and look at our track record.  We have called out waiver wire picks weeks before those “other sites.”  We do not state the obvious.  We do the work and you get the results.

This time of year the waiver wire is thin.  This much is certain.  However, there are opportunities for you. At his point in the season, there are team owners in your league that have given up.  This will reduce the number of teams in play for waiver wire transactions. I can’t say this for all leagues, but for some, this is very possible.  Our view is to never give up. Be a spoiler. Beat your friends.  It’s fun to steal a player or knock your buddy out of the playoff race. Some don’t subscribe to this idea.

Did you pick up Bobby Rainey like we told you last week?  If you did you would have been rewarded.

FYI if you didn’t see “A Football Life – The Forward Pass” on the NFL network.  Watch it.  I am no slave to hyperbole, but it’s amazing.

Reread previous weeks post in the Waiver Wire section.  There may be players still sitting out on your leagues waiver wire that we talked about weeks ago.

WR Michael Floyd – He has probably been on and off rosters all season.  He had a monster last week, over 190 yards.  He is wildly inconsistent and is nowhere near a sure thing.  However, if you are searching for a WR.

WR Jericho Cotchery – Here is another guy that has been sitting out in your league on and off all season.  Recently, he has garnered more consistent playing time.  This has resulted in increased productivity. If Emmanuel Sanders is dinged up this week, he could be a sneaky WR3 play.

QB Matt McGloin – This guy torched a pretty good Texans secondary.  He is  an undrafted rookie.  In fact, he wasn’t even signed after the draft, he had several tryouts just do get into a camp.  He was 18 for 32 for 197 yards and 3 TD’s No ints.  I wouldn’t get crazy here. He is a low level injury or bye week replacement, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Buffalo Bills Defense- Crazy right?  Depending on your scoring format, they are around 10th in the league in points.  At this point in the season, they can be a great matchup play if you choose wisely.  Get ready for this. They are leading the  league in interceptions with 16 and have 37 sacks that leads the league.   They are probably better than one or both of the defenses you are carrying.

-Ron

2013 – Week 11 Waiver Add/Drop

Listen, if you read this blog, you know we know our stuff. Go back and look at our track record.  We have called out waiver wire picks weeks before those “other sites.”  We do not state the obvious.  We do the work and you get the results.

This time of year the waiver wire is thin.  This much is certain.  However, there are opportunities for you. At his point in the season, there are team owners in your league that have given up.  This will reduce the number of teams in play for waiver wire transactions. I can’t say this for all leagues, but for some, this is very possible.  Our view is to never give up. Be a spoiler. Beat your friends.  It’s fun to steal a player or knock your buddy out of the playoff race. Some don’t subscribe to this idea.

Keep an eye on guys coming of off injuries.  Michael Crabtree is one.  Philosophically, you will want to get these injured players a week early, otherwise you will be battling the rest of your league for them.

Reread previous weeks post in the Waiver Wire section.  There may be players still sitting out on your leagues waiver wire that we talked about weeks ago.

WR Rishard Matthews- He had a monster game 10 catches over 100 yards and 2 TDS.  You will be battling most of your league for him this week, but you can’t argue with his production. Now the trick is if he can put up points consistently.

RB Bobby Rainey – Mike and I have liked this guy since last preseason when he was with the Ravens. I am not sure why he keeps getting cut.  He was given an opportunity to play last week because of Mike James injury and he showed what we saw two years ago.  Now, because he is a smaller speed back, I wouldn’t expect a lot of TD’s, but I could see him as a flex option moving forward.

WR Junior Hemmingway – Because Dwayne Bowe likes to smoke the herb and drive around suburban K.C. Junior gets a shot.   I have no idea how this will impact the Chiefs, but I do know that they are looking for production out of their WR’s and Hemmingway could work his way into the rotation if he can produce with his opportunities.

WR Andre Roberts – Here is a guy that is hot and cold.  I don’t think he has received the opportunities he has in the past, but I do like him especially if Mike Floyd is out this week. He might only be a one or two week replacement, but at this time of the year, the waiver wire is thin.

TE John Carlson – Well I wouldn’t expect much week to week from Carlson, but if you are in need of TE help, he is out there in your league. He is an average TE2 until further notice.

WR Tavon Austin – Here is another WR that you will be battling the rest of your league for on the waiver wire.  Honestly, his production up until last week’s game was weak.  There was a reason he was on the waiver wire.  He is worth the pick up if you need a WR, but please temper your expectations with him.  He is not going to score like that very often.  In fact, I wouldn’t expect him to do that again this year.

-Ron

2013 – Week 10 Waiver Add/Drop

Listen, if you read this blog, you know we know our stuff. Go back and look at our track record.  We have called out waiver wire picks weeks before those “other sites.”  We do not state the obvious.  We do the work and you get the results.

At this time of the year, the waiver wire gets slim. if you are in a smaller or shallow league, look back at our posts from the past few weeks, those guys might still be out there in your league.

The playoff push begins now!

RB Andre Brown – He is coming back.  We told you to get him last week, if he is still there get him now! He could be inline for some serious carries if David Wilson is out even longer.

WR Mike Brown – Another Brown here.   Justin Blackmon is suspended and  Brown is the next man up.  He has been fairly impressive on his limited opportunities thus far. 13 catches for 226 and a TD.  In this offense I don’t see him more than a WR4, but at this point in the season when the waiver wire is bare he could be worth the risk.

WR Jericho Cotchery – He is probably still out there in your league.  He has been very inconsistant and has had inconsistant opportunities, but he did  have 3 TD’s last week.  It wouldnt suprise me if he cut into Sanders or Antonio Brown’s workload some.  I mean, Brown was benched for part of the 4th quarter last week.

RB Shonne Greene – He received 9 carries for 38 yards and a TD last week. If he is finally healthy, this could be the type of workload to expect moving forward.  Very much a depth kind of pickup, but in this RB thin part of the year, he may be worth the roster move.

RB Rashad Jennings – Firstly, he is McFadden’ sback up so he should already be on your radar. Secondly, he had 176 total yards and a TD last week.  Yes, this was mostly in garbage time, but he still put these numbers up. As long as he is starting for the injured McFadden, he is a boarderline flex play.

Browns Defense – They are sitting out there a little over of half the leagues.  Now that the offense is functioning at a reasonable level, there is no reason not to pick this team up for your playoff run.  They have a great front 7, Joe Hayden, and a great defensive coordinator.

-Ron

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 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

2013 Week 3 – Waiver Wire Add/Drop

Ok, so win or lose in week one you should always be ready to try to improve your team. The weekly waiver wire/or FA pool in your league will always be monitored by your league mates for gems so you need to do that as well.

It’s tough to make generalizations over who to actually add every week – everything depends on your individual team and the makeup of your league. So 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

WR DeAndre Hopkins – Even before Hopkins 7 catch 117 yard, game winning TD performance this weekend – he was a trendy late round fantasy draft pick.  Now, if he’s somehow available in more shallow leagues – he will be a top priority add for most.  I would make the pickup if you can, but temper expectations – at best Hopkins is still the 4th target on the team in the redzone.  Better to think of him as a potential Wr3 than anything more if you’re adding him,  but if Andre Johnson’s concussion lingers he could be a WR2 for a few weeks.

RB Knowshon Moreno – Again in your league the window to acquire this guy may have passed, but if not grab him up.  All preseason I have thought Moreno was clearly the best RB option Denver had- and the only question was opportunity. He’ll be an inconsistent performer thanks to the style of offense, but Moreno is finally looking like a NFL starter.  Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball have been just awful , and the Broncos schedule over the next 6-8 games has some of the softest run defenses in the league on it.

WR Josh Gordon – Josh should be owned in all leagues, but I know he’s not.  Some people don’t like drafting players who are guaranteed to miss time and so in shallow leagues Gordon could be sitting out there.  Gordon is coming off of his 2 game suspension and looks to slide right back into his #1 WR spot in Cleveland.   It’s not all good news, he has to come back to either Brandon Weeden or Jason Campbell at QB – but Gordon had good chemistry with Weeden last season – and you’re just not going to find many #1 targets sitting there on the waiver wire in week 3.

Level 2

WR Eddie Royal  – If I had told you that Eddie Royal would’ve had 5 touchdowns this year – you would have smiled a little in disbelief and then said something like “well, that’s good for him”.  If I had told you he’d have 5 TD’s after 2 weeks you’d probably just walk away from me without saying a word – and probably in a very hurried manner muttering fearfully under your breath.  And yet, here we are – to some degree it makes sense.  Royal is the most veteran WR on the Chargers – heck after the injury to D. Alexander and Malcom Floyd’s horrific looking neck injury – he’s the only NFL veteran WR really on the club.    Is he going to go stretches where you can’t count on him?  Probably.  But right now he has a very good thing going with Philip Rivers – and I’m a firm believer that he will stay in the mix there b/c they simply need his experience.

TE Charles Clay – Everyone’s looking for consistency at the TE position, and while I’m not ready to lock Clay up as the next big thing at the position – he certainly should be in your consideration for an add.   He seems to be a favorite of Tannehill in the short passing game, and they even game him a goal line carry as a sort of fullback hybrid.  If Clay joins your team as a TE2 or a matchup dependent TE there’s a decent chance by year’s end he’s your starter over some of the guys that turn out to be disappointments.  After Clay’s huge game this weekend this will likely be the last week you can even try to get him off the wire – but for those of you struggling at tightend he has to be worth rostering.

RB James Starks – I’m not a huge believer in Starks.  In fact, neither were the Packers to the point where they nearly cut him this preseason.  But this is opportunity that you can’t pass up.  The concussion injury to rookie RB Eddie Lacy isn’t likely to be a long term issue, but Starks is the primary backup even with Lacy healthy – and can work his way into 3rd down looks at worst.  The time to grab Starks may have already passed in your league – but if not, try to pick him up.  In the worst case scenario he’s a flex play for a few weeks.

WR Santonio Holmes – Holmes looked good in the downpour vs New England.  He looked healthy most of all and that alone makes him worth considering in most leagues.  Unfortunately he has a rookie QB on a bad team to work with, along with his own personal mental lapses at points.  He’s worth a gamble as a Wr4 with the hopes that the chemistry between him and Geno can grow over the season.

Level 3

RB Donald Brown – To me, I look at Donald Brown and see talent – NFL starting talent.  The problem is, the Colts don’t seem to share my opinion.  Brown started the year behind the brittle Ahmad Bradshaw, and the underwhelming Vic Ballard.  Now with a season ending  injury to Ballard, it would seem like Brown should be in line for carries and passing game touches while being right behind an injury prone starter in a good offense.  Should be fantasy gold potential right?  Well, it’s the Colts and they don’t like him – word out of Indy is they will look at adding a veteran RB to come in and try out.  For the time being Brown is a tentative add with the hopes that his team doesn’t block him from time.

RB Andre Ellington – The rookie seems to have won the 3rd down running back gig in Arizona.  Ellington is fast, and to me little else….however, he plays behind Rashard Mendenhall who is coming off major knee surgery and his 60 total yards 1 TD performance this weekend may out him on the radar in deep leagues.   Yes, the primary backup in Arizona officially right now is Alfsono Smith – but Smith’s 2.1 YPC has been terrible and there’s no upside to owning him at all.  Ellington by contrast is at least involved in the passing game and again in deep league’s may be worth monitoring while he’s actually on your roster.

WR Robert Woods – A deep league add as a WR5 with a small chance to move up to WR3 this season,  Woods is coming off a nice 4 catch 68 yard day.  As EJ Manuel improves throughout the year Woods is due for an increase in targets, and I like what I’ve watched from Woods so far this year.  Fantasy owners slotted him in behind rookie WR’s like WR Marcus Wheaton or Keenan Allen, but it’s clear early that Woods was more NFL ready than those guys and others.  In dynasty formats Woods was likely drafted and currently owned, but if you’re playing a deep redraft league (especially PPR) and are having WR issues – Woods is looking more and more like a WR add and hold.

Players to Drop

RB Ronnie Hillman – How far down has Hillman’s stock fumbled?  Consider that this past weekend against the Giants, Montee Ball fumbled near the goalline and was benched.  Knshown Moreno came in to take the bulk of the work,  and Montee Ball was even seen in the game again near the goalline late in the game.  All while Hillman got one carry for 3 yards.   It’s time to face the facts if you own Hillman your Denver RB “lotto” pick is bust.

WR Kenny Britt – If you’re in a deep league, or a dynasty league I guess you hold him and bench him for possibly all of 2013 – barring your own personal emergency.  But in redraft leagues of standard size – it’s time to let Britt go.  I know it hurts – he really does have amazing potential. The problem is…Jake Locker does not.  Britt is only going to get more frustrated and then disinterested as the year goes on.

RB Mark Ingram – You can only really cut Ingram in shallow leagues because of his high profile potential and workload but man, if you can…that has to feel good.  No more watching him plod for about 2 yards a carry, no more watching him go down like he took a shot from a cannon every time a defender grazes him, no more sub 5 point days from your fantasy starting RB (or flex RB).  If you can somehow drop him for Moreno, do so and you may never stop smiling.

 

 

:by Mike