Entering Week 3 there had been 88 receivers to be targeted at least 10 times. The average completion percentage to those receivers is 62.32%. However, there are three players who have completed at least 90% of their targets:
- Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins (9 of 10 = 90.00%)
- Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers (10 of 11 = 90.91%)
- Brandon Myers – Oakland Raiders (11 of 11 = 100.00%)
It’s the latter player that I want to focus on, because he has started to build a lot of hype of late. Can we really expect him to continue catching every pass thrown his way? Here are a few facts:
- When we pull out the 22 tight ends who have been targeted at least 10 times the average completion percentage falls to 61.88%
- In 2011 there were 28 tight ends who were targeted at least 50 times with an average completion percentage of 61.78%
- No tight end in 2011 had a better completion percentage than Rob Gronkowski, who was at 72.58%
- The only other tight end who is above 75% this season is Gronkowski, who is at 80% (12 for 15) Read more
Is anyone going to argue that Chris Johnson has not been a total bust through two weeks? All you have to do s look at the statics and it becomes blatantly obvious…
19 carries for 21 yards and 0 TD
Granted, he has added 8 receptions for 58 yards, but for a player selected in the first round we expected a fantasy stud. Instead we have gotten waiver wire fodder, and even that is being generous.
It is not like the Patriots or Chargers are notoriously stingy against the run, he simply has not been effective. This is beginning to look an awful lot like 2011, when fantasy owners were blaming an extended holdout for his poor start to the year:
- September – 98 yards on 46 carries (2.1 yards/carry)
- October – 294 yards on 61 carries (3.3 yards/carry)
However, he did right the ship and averaged over 4.0 yards/carry for the remainder of the year giving us hope. Yes, the touchdowns were simply not there (he rushed for 4), but that is the least of our worries for 2012. Read more
Many people expected Kevin Smith to get off to a good start to the season, and he did deliver. He rushed the ball 13 times for 62 yards and a touchdown, while also catching 4 passes for 29 yards and another TD. With many teams likely hurting at running back, partially due to the injuries to Fred Jackson and Matt Forte, would now be a good time to try and cash in on a little of the Smith hype? The answer is almost certainly yes.
Considering that you likely drafted as a depth option, you should have enough other options to jettison Smith and strengthen your team elsewhere.
Before you wonder why I would recommend dealing him, keep a few things in mind:
1) Mikel Leshoure is going to return in Week 3 and you would have to think that the Lions want to finally get something out of the early draft pick they used on him. That should eat into Smith’s carries.
2) At some point Jahvid Best could return as well, another potential player who could take away a few carries per game. Read more
by Will Overton
The final week of preseason does two things. It decides who gets cut and who stays and it sorts out the back end of depth charts while the starters take it easy on the sidelines. At first glance it may not look like there’s a lot of fantasy knowledge to be gained, but there is still some. And there is a lot for those in deep leagues who dig deeper into the depth charts to find value.
Here are some quick hits from week four of the NFL’s preseason:
1. Washington Redskins Running Backs: Most teams were treating the final preseason game as an audition for their final roster spots. The Redskins were apparently auditioning for a starting running back as Roy Helu and Evan Royster combined for 25 carries in their game against the Bucs. Two days later Tim Hightower, the favorite to be the Redskins starter, was cut. Helu was the most impressive with 15 carries and 90 along with a pair of TD’s. Royster was solid as well though with 44 yards on 10 carries and a TD of his own. I don’t know who will be named starter, but no matter who it is chances are playing time will be split pretty even initially. If I had to have just one it’d be Helu, but both will likely have fantasy value.
2. Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receivers: It looks like the competition for the Bengals second starting wide receiver spot opposite of A.J. Green is wide open as it gets. And it may not even matter who wins it initially because multiple guys should be given a chance to impress. The favorite for the job is Brandon Tate who played very little in this week’s game and was only targeted once. The Bengals two rookies both had impressive games. Marvin Jones caught 4 passes for 39 yards and a TD while Mohammed Sanu caught 8 balls for 80 yards. Both of these rookies should be in the mix until someone pulls away. All of them are worth a flier at least in deep leagues until we learn more. Read more
by Will Overton
Week three of the preseason is the week which many decisions are made and where lasting impressions can go a long way. With most first teams playing close to or more than a whole half of football we were given a chance to learn more about out potential fantasy picks.
We saw Russell Wilson win a starting job, Steven Ridley secure his starting job, a couple of receivers looking strong and a whole lot more.
1. Russell Wilson – QB, Seattle Seahwks: I admittedly thought it was a very long shot that Russell Wilson would beat out Matt Flynn and his mega-contract. But he got the start last weekend and went 13 – 19 for 185 yards and 2 TD’s, while carrying the ball twice for 58 yards as well. In three preseason games he is 36 – 56 for 464 yards and has 5 TD’s and 1 INT, with a lot of rushing yards as well. In the end it was enough to be named the week one starter for the Seahawks against Arizona. There is no guarantee Wilson can keep this job, but he’s going to get the opportunity and Pete Carroll clearly seems to be backing him all the way right now. I’d take him as a flier late in standard leagues. He would make for a risky backup though with no guarantees to his job security.
2. Stevan Ridley – RB, New England Patriots: With Shane Vereen going down with an injury, Ridley was the workhorse last weekend and he carried the load well. Ridley ran the ball 16 times for 87 yards and scored one TD. He also caught 3 passes for 17 yards. The Patriots are still a pass first and pass often team, but Ridley should be looking at between 15 – 20 carries per week if he’s the featured back and that could make him a solid flex position player in standard leagues and potentially a RB2 in deep leagues. Read more
by Will Overton
In week two of the preseason we saw a couple of second year quarterbacks looking like they’re ready to take a step forward. We also saw some rookie quarterbacks struggle in the way they inevitably will at more than just one point in their first season.
Along with the QB’s we had some running back competitions heating up or in some cases we may have witnessed some competitions just beginning. All of that and more in this roundup of the weekend’s preseason action:
1. Christian Ponder – QB, Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings need a big season from their second year quarterback and they had to like what they saw from him this past weekend. He was taking on one of the league’s worst secondary’s from last season, but still a 10 – 13 night is pretty good with 136 yards and a TD. One big thing is going to be whether or not Ponder will have more weapons. Percy Harvin is a number one wideout in my mind, but a young QB needs more help than that. Kyle Rudolph seems to be developing into a nice TE option, and Ponder seemed to be clicking with Jerome Simpson who was targeted five times and had three catches the other night. If Simpson and Rudolph emerge and Harvin stays healthy Ponder will have the weapons to take a big step forward. There are just a lot of if’s involved there.
2. Blaine Gabbert – QB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Much like Ponder, Blaine Gabbert looked much improved this weekend. Gabbert was 13 – 16 for 112 yards and a pair of TD passes. One of those TD passes was to Justin Blackmon who ended up with 4 catches in total. I’ve got my concerns about Gabbert and Blackmon, but this was certainly encouraging. Gabbert has better weapons this season which will help, but he has to be better at hitting them as his 50% completion rate isn’t going to cut it in fantasy leagues. I’d rather have Ponder between the two second year QB’s, but Gabbert may be worth a flier in deep leagues, just not much outside of that. Read more
by Will Overton
Preseason football is just what it says, it’s football before the season, it means it doesn’t count and it’s not always the most telling of things. But there are a few things that can be learned from preseason and watching the box scores. You can tell who the starting QB’s are looking for and you can see what rookies might be making the team and making a splash, just to name a couple of things.
You shouldn’t overreact to preseason stats when doing your draft, because downgrading a proven runner for averaging 3 yards per carry in the pre-season is just dumb. But it doesn’t mean you should tune it all out completely.
Here are a few of the things I observed in the first weekend of preseason football:
- Andrew Luck – QB, Indianapolis Colts: It was only one game, but the Colts opened things up and let Andrew Luck loose against the Rams first team defense and he shredded them. Luck ended up going 10 – 16 with 188 yards and 2 TD’s. One of the TD’s was a 63 yarder on a shuffle pass to the running back where Donald Brown who did most of the work, but it was still a smart play. Like I said, it’s only 16 passes in the pre-season, but he looked comfortable, didn’t rush anything, didn’t make mistakes, and also important, he didn’t get sacked which is a good sign considering the concerns about the Colts O-Line. Also notable, he seemed to have a nice connection with Austin Collie early, targeting him for five passes in their short time on the field together. Read more
News of Matt Forte’s MCL strain and absence for the next 2-6 weeks has caused serious issues for fantasy owners vying for titles. This is the time he’s needed most, but now we are left picking from the leftovers and trying to piece together a viable championship team.
If you are thinking that you are going to simply pick up Marion Barber as a replacement, Michael C. Wright (via Twitter) has the following quote from head coach Lovie Smith regarding Marion Barber:
”He’s a different running back than Matt Forte. Kahlil can probably do more of the things that Matt Forte does.”
The Professor’s Thoughts:
It would still appear that Marion Barber will be the better back moving forward, but he’s not necessarily going to be the “main” back in Chicago. Both Barber and Bell received one target in the passing game in Week 13, though neither had a completion. Barber, though, did receive more carries: Read more
According to Terry McCormick (via Twitter):
“Hasselbeck says #Titans coaches have put plays in for WR Damian Williams in recent weeks because of his practice work”
Over the past few weeks Williams has clearly become a bigger part of the Titans’ offense with 29 targets over the past two weeks. Nate Washington, who is currently the team’s top receiver, has been targeted 25 times.
The Professor’s Thoughts:
It’s nice that they are putting in more plays for him and getting him more entrenched in the offense, but he needs to make the most of his opportunities. In the past two weeks, despite an increase in targets, he has 4 receptions for 49 yards and 1 TD.
It’s hard to imagine Williams gaining enough to make him a trustworthy play with fantasy titles hanging in the balance. If you have room on your bench and want to stash him, just in case, it does make sense. However, don’t do anything dramatic to get him because chances are he’s not going to be a usable option. Read more
Lance Moore had a big game in Week 12, with 5 receptions for 54 yards and 2 TD. However, does that performance make him someone that should be active in fantasy lineups? This piece of information from Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune (click here for the article) helps to clarify things:
“Here’s the breakdown of the reps at each skill position: WR – Henderson 44; Colston 43; Meachem 43; Moore 20”
The Professor’s Thoughts:
It’s great that he made the most of his opportunities, but can we really expect him to replicate that type of performance this week? It’s not like it is a new phenomenon. Just look at his targets over the past few weeks: Read more