Archive for December 7, 2009

Get ‘em or Don’t Sweat ‘em Week 13

By Ryan Lester, LestersLegends.com

There were some unusual heroes on Sunday. There always are. Let’s take a look at them and see if they are worthy of your fantasy rosters.

Chad Henne, QB, Miami Dolphins
Henne burned the Pats for 335 yards and a pair of scores. You can’t use him in the fantasy playoffs in a standard league, but with Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Houston up the next three weeks he is useful in two-QB leagues.
Ruling: Don’t Sweat ‘em.

Bruce Gradkowski, QB, Oakland Raiders
Gradkowski torched the Steelers for 308 yards and 2 TDs. While I think he’s the right man for the Raiders right now, he’s not the right man for your fantasy team.
Ruling: Don’t Sweat ‘em.

Brady Quinn, QB, Cleveland Browns
Quinn has been the butt of almost as many jokes as Charlie Weis. He tossed 3 TDs without an INT. His lines from the past four games should be enough for you to stay clear.
Week 10: 99 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTS
Week 11: 304 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
Week 12: 100 yards, o TDs, o INTs
Week 13: 271 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
Ruling: Don’t Sweat ‘em.

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Smith topped 300 yards for the first time in his career. He tossed multiple TDs for the third straight week. With ARI, PHI, and DET in the fantasy playoffs, he’s worth adding as a bench player and spot starter. He could be the perfect fill-in for Peyton Manning or Drew Brees in Week 16 if their teams are pulling starters.
Ruling: Get ‘em.
Read more

NFL Week 13 Fantasy Fill-ins

by Ryan Lester of Lester’s Legends

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough matchups.

David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Garrard has a decent match-up this week against Houston’s middle-of-the road passing defense. That’s not what makes him a decent play this weekend. He truly is a different player at home, where the Jags happen to play this week.

Home:  5 games, 283.8 yards per game, 7 TD, 4 INTs
Away:  6 games, 198.5 ypg, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Smith has back-to-back multiple TD games for the Niners. With Seattle on deck, who is 25th in passing yards allowed (238.1)and 27th in passing TDs allowed (20), Smith is a good bet to make it three straight.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
I’m sure by now his fantasy owners have lost faith in Cutler, but feel free to trot him out there against the Rams. St. Louis is 22nd against the pass with 225.6 yards per game. Now if Cutler can just remember which team to throw to. Read more

Week 13 Sleeper: Matt Forte

Is it really possible that a player good enough for a first round draft pick has regressed so far that he’s a sleeper for Week 13?  If your name is Matt Forte that amazingly is exactly what has happened.

While he has contributed in the passing game this season (433 yards on 46 receptions), he has yet to find the end zone through the air.  On the ground, he’s been a fraction of the player he was during his rookie season, when he rushed for 1,238 yards and eight touchdowns.

So far this season he’s amassed just 543 yards, averaging just under 50 per game, while scoring just three touchdowns.  He’s only had over 50 yards in a game four times all season and over the past four weeks has posted the following statistics:

  • Week 9 – 33 yards vs. Arizona
  • Week 10 – 41 yards vs. San Francisco
  • Week 11 – 34 yards vs. Philadelphia
  • Week 12 – 27 yards vs. Minnesota Read more

Week 13 Sleeper: Jeremy Maclin

Jeremy Maclin has been coming on in recent weeks, with 17 receptions over the past three weeks with at least 60 yards a game.  That was with a healthy DeSean Jackson in the line-up, who is now likely to miss Week 13 due to a concussion.  Throw in that Brent Celek is potentially limited with torn ligaments in his thumb and someone is going to need to pick up some substantial slack.

Maclin’s success has come against:

  • Chargers – 199.6 passing yards/game
  • Bears – 214.2 passing yards/game
  • Redskins – 170.4 passing yards/game, best in the league

All three of those teams find themselves in the top half of the league.  This week’s opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, is the sixth worst allowing 252.6 passing yards/game.  Read more

Week 13 Sleeper: Knowshon Moreno

Since draft day, everyone has been waiting for Knowshown Moreno to emerge as a go-to fantasy option.  Over the seasons first nine weeks, that type of optimism appeared like it was going to be a complete bust.

He had just one rushing touchdown.  He had rushed for 75 yards or more just three times.  His best game saw him overage 4.6 yards per carry (and he had four games averaging less than four yards per carry, including one where he was at 0.6).

Over the past three weeks he suddenly has put things together.  He’s rushed for 265 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.  He’s also found the end zone once and is getting the ball regularly.

That’s not to mention, he’s also done it against some pretty good defenses:

  • Washington – currently allowing 127.9 yards per game, best in the league
  • San Diego – currently allowing 118.1 yards per game
  • New York Giants – currently allowing 107.8 yards per game

I know the Giants defense is not playing as good as their ranking.  I know you can probably point to things (like injuries) regarding both the Redskins and Chargers defenses as well.  I know that these are not the best defenses, in fact only the Giants are in the top half in the league.  Still, when someone starts to perform you have to take notice. Read more

Week 13 Rankings: Top 15 Defenses

Sometimes things just seem to have the perfect scenario screaming that they belong in the top spot, don’t they?  That’s the case when it comes to defenses for Week 13.  Who got the nod?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Detroit
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Oakland
  3. New Orleans Saints – at Washington
  4. San Diego Chargers – at Cleveland
  5. Chicago Bears – vs. St. Louis
  6. Carolina Panthers – vs. Tampa Bay
  7. Denver Broncos – at Kansas City
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – at Atlanta
  9. Buffalo Bills – vs. New York Jets
  10. Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Houston Read more

Week 13 Rankings: Top 15 Kickers

Every week I talk about not ignoring your kicker, as they really do make a difference.  Let’s take a look at how I’d rank them for Week 13:

  1. Nate Kaeding – San Diego Chargers – at Cleveland
  2. David Akers – Philadelphia Eagles – at Atlanta
  3. John Carney – New Orleans Saints – at Washington
  4. Ryan Longwell – Minnesota Vikings – at Arizona
  5. Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – at Miami
  6. Shayne Graham – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Detroit
  7. Jeff Reed – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Oakland
  8. Matt Prater – Denver Broncos – at Kansas City
  9. Robbie Gould – Chicago Bears – vs. St. Louis
  10. Matt Stover – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee Read more

Week 13 Rankings: Top 15 Tight Ends

Injuries continue to wreak havoc on the tight end position.  Now it is Brent Celek who is banged up and though he is expected to play, he has to be knocked down a couple of spots.  Let’s look at where he falls and all the rest for Week 13:

  1. Dallas Clark – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
  2. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – at Cleveland
  3. Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers – at Seattle
  4. Visanthe Shiancoe – Minnesota Vikings – at Arizona
  5. Kellen Winslow – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Carolina
  6. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – at New York Giants
  7. Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Philadelphia
  8. Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles – at Atlanta
  9. Greg Olsen – Chicago Bears – vs. St. Louis
  10. Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Oakland Read more