Tag Archives: Chris Ogbonnaya

2013: Start ‘em or Sit ‘em Week – Thanksgiving Edition – Week 13

Hello all and Happy Thanksgiving.

Here are some Starts and Sits for todays games.  The rest will follow later tonight and Friday.

Packers at Lions

Sit ’em – WR Kris Durham:  He was a nice story, but now that Nate Burleson is back and getting targets, his value takes a huge hit.  There are plenty of WR options out there and this is the time to employ one of them.

Sit ’em – : Packers Defense- They aren’t the worst start of the week, certainly. As a defense they get to the QB, but they give up a good amount of yards and points.  They are a Def2 at best.  If you have that other defense, this is the time to play them. Oh, and they are playing the Lions with the 7th ranked offense in Detroit.

Raiders at Cowboys

Start ’em RB Rashard Jennings – Ride the hot hand!  This Dallas defense is terrible and gave up over 200 yards to a Giants team that is average at running the ball.  The Raiders are 4th in the league  in rushing.  Dallas is 30th in defending the run.  I still can’t believe I am writing this, but start Jennings and feel good about it.

Steelers at Ravens

Start ’em – Steelers Defense:  This is a bit of a sneaky play this week, but let me explain.  The Ravens are 27th in the league in Rushing and 29th overall in offense.  They are inconsistent at best.  The Steelers are playing much better as of late.  The Steelers are a match up play.  If you have another defense with a great match up, go with that.  If you have the Steelers and are debating on what to do, consider this match up today.

Football Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

– The Art of Score

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2013: Start ‘em or Sit ‘em Week 12

The playoff pushes for fantasy football have already begun, and now more than ever the pressure to decide who’ll be in your starting lineup weekly is going to build exponentially.  We’ve had a pretty good start and sit record this season -especially considering all of the players that have come out of nowhere (some who have faded equally as quickly).

So we present the following recommendations with the hopes that you’ll find something useful for your stretch runs.  We’ll try to avoid the more obvious decisions and give you options that maybe you weren’t thinking about, or steer you away from emotional decisions based on all too recent streaks.   As always if you have a question about a specific start/sit, get ahold of us we’ll be happy to help you out.

Saints at Falcons

Start ’em WR Marques Colston – Earlier in the season Colston was hurt and playing so terrible, that not only did he make Robert Meachem relevant,  but we here at the Art of Score suggested it might be time you cut him.  Well, Colston is back…sort of, over his last 2 games he’s produced 187 yards and 1 TD.  More importantly his targets have been at 6 or higher for 3 straight weeks now- and this means that he’s firmly back on the Brees’ radar.  Colston’s days as a #1 fantasy WR are probably over, but he makes a nice low end WR2 or Flex play tonight against a Falcons team that is mailing it in.  I’m not advocating stardom for the rest of Colston’s 2013, but he does appear to be a fantasy starter you can use down the stretch.  80 and a Td could be well within his reach this game.

Sit ’em QB Matt Ryan – Ryan’s team has been disappointing, and he has very few healthy weapons – so it’s likely not the type of year you, or he thought he would have.  Ryan’s last 3 games have produced 4 TD’s against 5 interceptions and he has cracked 250 yards just once in that time.   Without Julio Jones, even a recovering Roddy White isn’t enough to guarantee Ryan produces weekly – and against the Saints’ 3rd overall pass defense he’s too risky to start.   I’m not advocating you do something crazy like starting QB Matt McGloin over him this week, but if you have a reasonable backup QB like Big Ben or Eli – I would yank Mr Ryan from your starting lineup.

Jets at Ravens

Sit ’em RB Ray Rice: I know, I know we advised this last week and he had his best game of the season with 131 yards rushing and a TD.   That was also against the Bears’ 31st ranked rushing defense, and the ONLY time Rice has even had his combined yardage go over 100 on the season!  You want to try and sell me on the fact that he’s healthier now than he was earlier in the year, fine I’ll bite – a little, more like a nibble, more like a sample bite that I spit in a napkin really – but I’ll go with you at least as far as to say maybe they’ll be a week or 2 down this stretch that Rice will reward you for your pick.  But, it’s not going to be this week folks.  The Jets have the best run defense in the NFL, they just played a game where they limited fellow disappointment RB CJ Spiller to 6 yards on 13 carries, and for the 2nd time this season held him under 10 yards!!  They grounded the Bills rushing game under 80 yards total – and that was in a blowout that they lost.   If you have a RB on your bench that can get you 5 points or over, that guy is the call this week over Ray.   Now is not the time to get caught up in a feel good rebound week, bench him and look at it again next week.

Start ’em WR Santonio Holmes: This can be your risky upside Wr3 play this week, or potentially desperation flex play.  Before his injury in Week 4, Holmes looked to have developed real chemistry with Geno Smith and showed glimpses of his old WR1 potential.  Holmes had 71 yards last week in what was probably Smith’s worst game as a pro, so he’s clearly got the potential to produce even in this ramshackle offense.  It’s true those 71 yards came on only 2 catches, but it’s also true he was targeted 8 times.  He’s a much better play than Dolly Parton sized bust Stephen Hill, and with Kerley (arguably the team’s best WR this year) sidelined with his own injury issues – Holmes is the only game in town.  My bet is the Ravens’ 11th ranked run defense loads up to slow Ivory and Powell – and Geno is forced to throw.  It could still be ugly for Geno, but good for Holmes – like it was last week.  Take a chance as I’m betting on Holmes for 7-10 points this week in standard Non-PPR leagues.

Steelers at Browns

Sit ’em TE Jordan Cameron: Cameron has had a nice year, well above expectations, but the shine is starting to come off your new TE toy.   In his last 5 games Cameron’s targets have dropped from an average of about 10 targets a game to about 5 targets.  Granted some weeks like 2 weeks ago his 4 targets for 81 yards can still be very productive – but the truth is QB Jason Campbell does not have Jordan on his mind the same way Weeden and Hoyer did earlier in the season.  You want to tell me Pittsburgh has a bad pass defense, and that maybe the Browns will refocus Cameron into the offense this week?  That’s fine and perfectly plausible, but I think fringe guys like Coby Fleener, Garret Graham, and Delaine Walker could all outproduce him this weekend.

Start ’em RB Chris Ogbonnaya: I didn’t really believe the Browns would feature Ogbonnaya last week when I bet against him.  But against a tough Bengals’ defense he did manage to get 99 combined rushing and receiving yards.  Now he also had a costly fumble, which was returned for a TD – so I don’t know how long his leash will be (get it? Browns = Dawg Pound = leash?  eh, eh?), but there’s no denying his 14 total touches last game is a positive sign.   Pittsburgh’s defense is leaky, and their offense scores – so points may fly in this one, you’re going to want a RB that catches passes.  Ogbonnaya makes a high level flex play this weekend.

Buccaneers @ Lions

Start ’em RB Bobby Rainey: Be careful here, I’m saying that as much to myself as to any of you.  I liked Rainey coming out, and I thought his big chance would come when he was traded to Cleveland.  But the Browns thought waking Willis McGahee up from his crypt was a better idea, and when Rainey wound up in Tampa well I figured that was the end of it. 2 injuries later and we’re talking about him coming off a 30 carry 163 yard 2 Td performance!!  Rainey is talented no question, and hopefully the Bucs are smart enough to ride the hot hand here.  However, don’t get yourselves too worked up about Rainey in the short term, or the long term.  Long term the Bucs are not a great landing place for him with Martin and James ahead of him, and short term – he really will be a matchup play I think.  Now the Lions are 5th in the NFL against the run, but that can be a little misleading because Rainey is capable of participating in the passing game where the Lions are a pathetic 30th.  I think you have to start Rainey, but as much as I want to sound the horn to charge like a late season DeAngelo Williams circa November of 2008…I can’t recommend him yet as anything more than a low Rb2, or solid flex, until I see proof the Bucs won’t screw this up with Brian Leonard.  Start him over a disappointing player like Ray Rice this weekend – but let’s wait and see if he returns to earth a little.

Panthers at Dolphins

Start ’em – Panthers D: They are playing well and going against a depleted Dolphins line.  I don’t think they go crazy, but there is no need to bench them this week.  Don’t overthink it.  Play the Panthers D and expect positive results.

Sit ’em – RB Daniel Thomas: Thomas is a power back and this type of running doesn’t match up well with the strong front 7 of the Panthers.  Lamar Miller is the better play but only marginally better.  If you start him it’s out of pure desperation.

Bears at Rams

Start ’em – RB Zac Stacy:  The Zach Attack is back.  Follow my logic here.  Ravens were last in the league in rushing last week.   Last week they ran for 174 yards against the Bears.  They are God-awful against the run.   That might change once Briggs gets back, but as of now start any running back against the Bears.  Anyone that says their D is playing well is living of the myth of yesteryear.

Colts at Cardinals

Sit ’em – RB Trent Richardson:   He is averaging 2.8 yards a carry since coming over from Cleveland.  2.8 yards a carry!  He has no vision.  He runs into the line.  I mean he runs hard, but there is a lot more to an NFL RB than just running hard.  Trent your trend is bent; downward.

Sit ’em – RB Rashad Mendenhall:  He has done nothing all season.   Yes, he gets 10 carries a game.  I get it.  He does nothing with those carries.  Start someone else.

Titans at Raiders

Start ’em – RB Rashad Jennings:  Am I crazy?  Maybe.  Consider this, Titans have the 19th best rushing defense.  The Raiders have the 5th best rushing Offense.    He will also still get carries even if McFadden plays.  He also ran well the past two weeks.  That smells like a Flex start to me.

Cowboys at Giants

Start ’em –  WR Ruben Randle: He has been playing well.  The Dallas defense is one of the worst…things… I have ever seen.  It’s embarrassing.   Dallas will play and has been playing a lot of cover 3.  Underneath routes should be open and Randle has a game worthy of a WR2.

Sit ’em – RB Demarco Murray:  Giants run D has been playing well.  Look at the past 4 games and you will see that.  The Cowboys can’t/don’t want to run the ball.  Bombs away.  Start Murray if you have to, but be forewarned.  In reality you don’t need a warning.  If you have owned him all season, you know how disappointing he has been.

Broncos at Patriots

Start ’em –  RB Shane Vereen:  Bye week Troubles?  Start Vereen in your flex and you will be cured.  He will tear up PPR leagues the rest of the year.   No reason to sit this guy at all.  He is the kind of guy who can get on a role and carry your RB2 or Flex through out the playoff push.

49ers at Redskins

Sit ’em – QB Colin Kaepernick:  Colin, buddy, I know the ‘Skins defense isn’t very good.  But, the reality of the situation is that you are playing terrible.   This is a get right game for you.  There is no reason you should have a bad game here, but I don’t trust you.   I’ll take the sure points with another QB.  As I said, he should have a big game, but there is a lot of risk here.

*more to come*

-Mike and 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