Archive for Quick Hits

Quick Hit: Miles Austin Likely Out, Laurent Robinson Borderline WR1

According to Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas (via Twitter):

“Jerry jones said he doesn’t think miles Austin will play Sunday at Arizona.”

According to the NFL injury report Austin did not practice on Thursday.  While we will know more today, the fact that he wasn’t on the practice field is another bad sign when it comes to him taking the field on Sunday.

The Professor’s Thoughts:
This is much different news then we were hearing earlier in the week and, when coupled with the news that Dez Bryant would be handling punts this week, significantly shakes up our wide receiver rankings.  At this point everything points to Laurent Robinson now being a borderline WR1 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Robinson has been on fire of late with at least one touchdown in five straight games (seven touchdowns over that span).  He also has become the team’s most targeted receiver.  Just look at the number over the past two weeks: Read more

Quick Hit: Is Perry Riley A Must Play IDP Option For The Remainder Of 2011?

According to Rich Campbell of The Washington Times (click here for the article):

“I’m looking forward to watching second-year ILB Perry Riley when I go through the game again this week. He led the team with 14 tackles and now has double-digit stops in each of his three starts, according to the coaches’ review. He’s still without a forced fumble or sack, but those will come in time. For now he must continue to sharpen the mental aspect of the game. At least the Redskins appear to have found a long-term solution at one of the two inside linebacker spots, and in the fourth round, no less.”

In fact, over the past three games Riley has 34 tackles.

The Professor’s Thoughts:
We don’t touch on IDP leagues much here, though Riley’s performance is definitely worth noting.  He has improved each week and should continue to see ample opportunities to make plays over the remainder of the season.

Over the next few weeks the Redskins will take on the Jets, Patriots and Giants.  While the Jets’ running game has not been elite this season, we know that they are at least going to try to run the ball to take the pressure off of Mark Sanchez. Read more

Quick Hit: Is Johnny White A Sleeper Worth Stashing?

According to Joe Buscaglia (via Twitter):  

“According to Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News, Fred Jackson has been put on Injured Reserve. Season over. Fracture to fibula bone.”

Jackson’s season ends with 934 yards and 6 TD on the ground, as well as 39 receptions for 442 yards.  C.J. Spiller is expected to get the first opportunity to carry the load, with the newly signed Tashard Choice and Johnny Walker working behind him.

The Professor’s Thoughts:
Spiller has shown much more upside catching the ball, as opposed to carrying it and there’s always the potential that he falters as an every down back.  In 24 career games he’s had just 95 carries, never breaking a run for more than 26 yards and only once has had more than 35 yards in a game.  He’s just never proven that he can handle regular carries. Read more

Quick Hit: How Should Brandon Lloyd Be Valued Moving Forward?

If there was any doubt that Brandon Lloyd would be the go to receiver upon Sam Bradford’s return, there shouldn’t be anymore. Just look at his targets over the past three weeks:

  • Week 9 atArizona– 13
  • Week 10 atCleveland– 9
  • Week 11 vs.Seattle– 14

Over that span no other Ram player has more than 15 targets (Brandon Gibson).

The Professor’s Thoughts:
Having targets is only half the battle, as you also need to do something with them. Lloyd hasn’t been spectacular, but it is clear that he and Bradford are starting to gain familiarity with each other. Read more

Looking At The Fantasy Fallout From Jay Cutler’s Injury

According to nfl.com (click here for the article):

“Jay Cutler will have surgery for a fractured thumb sustained in Sunday’s win over the San Diego Chargers and will be ‘out for an extended period of time,’ Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith told reporters Monday.

The team has not announced a date for Cutler’s surgery. Smith said the plan is for Cutler to have surgery ‘as soon as possible’ with the expectation the quarterback will return before their season finale Jan. 1 against the Minnesota Vikings.”

If he were to return for the final regular season game, that would be too little too late for fantasy owners. Even if he returned a week earlier, would you trust him with your fantasy title on the line? This injury renders him virtually worthless for the rest of the season. Read more

Was Week 10 The Turning Point For Roy Helu & The Redskins Backfield?

Ryan O’Halloran (via Twitter) reported the snap counts for the Redskins’ offense in Week 10.  The most important are the running backs, which broke down as follows:

  • Roy Helu – 31 snaps
  • Ryan Torain – 23 snaps

The Professors Thoughts:
Mike Shanahan may be the most frustrating coach in the league, but you have to think that Week 10 may finally be the turning point for Helu.  While Torain got more carries (10) when on the field, he managed to run for just 20 yards (2.0 yards per carry).  His longest run of the day went for a measly five yards.

Helu, meanwhile, took his six carries for 41 yards and has been significantly more productive when on the field.  All you have to do is look at the numbers to see that: Read more

A Look At The Fantasy Fallout Of Matt Cassel’s Injury

According to Kent Babb (via Twitter):

“Haley says Cassel has ‘significant’ hand injury that could end his season. Not sure in that yet.”

If this indeed the end of Cassel’s 2011 campaign he finishes going 160-269 for 1,713 yards, 10 TD and 9 INT.

The Professor’s Thoughts:
Prior to Week 10 Cassel had thrown for 250 yards or more in four of his previous five games and seemed to be finding his stride with Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston.  Unfortunately, none of that matters now.

Tyler Palko will get the first crack at starting for the Chiefs, with 2011 fifth round draft choice Ricky Stanzi waiting for him to falter.  Unfortunately it is hard to imagine Palko excelling.  Since going undrafted in 2007 Palko has been a part of six organizations (and not all of them were NFL teams): Read more

Is Kendall Hunter Worth Targeting On The Waiver Wire For Week 11?

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (click here for the article) published the following quote:

“I would plan on (Gore) playing, but you just feel like right now that we’ve got a stable of backs,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got Frank Gore. We’ve got Kendall Hunter. We’ve got fresh legs in Anthony Dixon. This bodes really well for our football team.”

The Professor’s Take:
That’s not a very promising quote for Gore owners.  Last week Gore was limited to just six carries going for 0 yards (his longest run was for three yards) against the New York Giants.  Hunter also had six carries but took them for 40 yards and a touchdown.

With the 49ers running away with the division (already holding a five game lead), they have no real reason to push Gore and risk further injury.  Their primary goal needs to be getting healthy and prepared for a run deep into the playoffs.  That just further adds to the speculation that, at worst, Hunter and Gore will split carries.  At this point the chance of Gore being the featured back appears to be minimal, especially with a Thursday game in Week 12. Read more

Quick Hit: Looking At The Options To Replace Matt Schaub

According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter):

“Filed to ESPN: Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is out for the season with a lis franc injury. Matt Leinart from here on in.”

If Schaub’s season is indeed over he finishes the year having thrown for 2,479 yards, 15 TD and 6 INT, despite playing the bulk of the season with Andre Johnson.

The Professor’s Take:
With Johnson set to return after the Texans’ bye week, the timing of this definitely hurts.  Leinart, who will step in for Houston, hasn’t thrown a pass since 2009.  For his career he has thrown 14 TD vs. 20 INT, though a good running game as well as the presence of Johnson and Arian Foster puts him in a good position to succeed. 

Now 28-years old, he should hold value for those in two-quarterback formats (at least for now).  If you are in a deeper format, it would make sense to stash him as he has the supporting cast to excel, if you have the room, but don’t expect him to be able to step into your starting lineup.  Read more

Quick Hit: The Time Has Come To Try And Shop Stevie Johnson

Stevie Johnson, who got off to a solid start with touchdowns in each of the first three games, may have hit rock bottom this week after managing just 2 catches for 8 yards and 0 TD. In his past six games he has averaged 4 receptions for 45.8 yards and managed just 1 TD.

The fact is that he hasn’t even been targeted much:

  • October 2 (at Cincinnati) – 6 targets
  • October 9 (vs. Philadelphia) – 5 targets
  • October 16 (at New York Giants) – 10 targets
  • October 30 (vs. Washington) – 9 targets
  • November 6 (vs. New York Jets) – 6 targets
  • November 13 (at Dallas) – 5 targets

In four of the games he was the third most targeted receiver on his team.

The Professor’s Thoughts:
It’s no secret that Ryan Fitzpatrick has struggled since the first few weeks of the season, but that isn’t the full explanation for Johnson’s struggles. It’s not like the Bills are simply not throwing the ball, they are instead generally going to other options. Read more