Archive for October 31, 2011

Waiver Worthy: Week 8 Fallout: Andy Dalton, Braylon Edwards and More

by Will Overton

We are just about halfway through the NFL season and while the waiver wire finds are getting harder to come by, there are still a few of them out there. Injuries and incompetence have paved the way for a few guys to break on to the scene.

Here are some of the guys who will probably be getting a lot of buzz this week for pickups and also my take on whether or not they are worth your waiver wire priority. 

Javon Ringer – RB, Tennessee Titans: After a couple weeks of poor performances from Chris Johnson everyone was willing to write it off as rust from sitting out so long this offseason, now here we are, eight weeks in and he still isn’t getting it going. Johnson is averaging 2.9 yards per carry and in only 2 of his 7 games has he rushed for 3 or more yards per carry. Fantasy owners should be worried and now it looks like the Titans might be too as Javon Ringer got a lot of looks this week. Ringer ran the ball 14 times, the same amount as Johnson, and finished with 60 yards. Ringer also caught 5 passes for 42 yards. I want to believe that Johnson is going to break out and I still think he might, but right now it looks like Ringer is going to see more rushes and has some pass catching ability as well. I can’t see him completely wrestling the job away from Johnson, but I can see Ringer being useful in deep leagues or even PPR standard leagues on a bye week. This isn’t a must buy, but if you need a RB Ringer may be one of the better ones out there at this point.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em Read more

Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em Decisions: Week 8

Just hours before the start of Week 8 I know many people have questions running through their heads.  Who should I start?  Who should I sit?  Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:

Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – Running Back
According to Andrew Carter (via Twitter), “Vontae Davis and Daniel Thomas out for #Dolphins tomorrow. Hamstring injuries.”  Thomas was originally listed as questionable for his matchup against the Giants, so this news comes as a little bit of a surprise.  Given the state of the Dolphins’ passing game and taking on a Giants defense that has been among the worst in the league against the run, Thomas was expected to be a viable option in all formats.  Now, with Thomas out, Reggie Bush should be expected to take the bulk of the carries with Lex Hilliard (short yardage) and Steve Slaton also getting some touches.

In most weeks Bush has gotten between 10-13 carries, and I wouldn’t expect him to see a dramatic increase.  He’ll probably get 15-20 touches total, and there’s a good chance he breaks one for a big gain.  Consider him a low-end RB2/FLEX option in all formats, especially with the positive matchup. Read more

Running Back Roulette: Looking At The Week 8 Backfield Questions

There are numerous injuries wreaking havoc on backfields across the NFL this week.  Let’s take a look at the status of a few running backs and who could step in and try to fill their shoes:

Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts – Questionable
Despite the questionable tag Tom James (via Twitter) is reporting that Addai practiced in full on Friday.  That would lead us to believe that he’s got a good chance of dressing for this week’s game at Tennessee.  Let’s not forget that Addai tried to play through the injury in Week 7, only to suffer a setback with his hamstring injury.  That threat makes Addai an impossible play for the coming week.  Delone Carter should be owned as a handcuff, as he looked good last week (89 yards and 1 TD on 10 carries), but he too is a tough play because of the chance that Addai can get through the entire day.  It’s a tough situation to try and gamble on in all formats and, if at all possible, avoid it.

Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – Out
With Ingram out, Darren Sproles & Pierre Thomas jump up a few notches.  Sproles has been showing his value in the passing game all year long, but will likely get a good look running the football as well as there is now one less mouth to feed (unless you think Chris Ivory to be a factor).  Taking on a Rams’ team that has allowed 183.8 rushing yards/game, this opportunity couldn’t come at a better time.  He’s coming off a week where he had 88 yards and 1 TD on 12 carries making him a must use option.  As for Pierre Thomas, he’s averaging 4.4 yards/carry on the season.  While he’s not as good of a play as Sproles, he is also viable depending on your other options. Read more

Week 8 Rankings: Top 15 Kickers

by Will Overton

Kickers might be the most unpredictable source of fantasy points but there are some things to watch and try to predict performance. Here is my best shot at ranking Week 8 Kickers:

  1. Jason Hanson – Detroit Lions at Denver
  2. John Kasay – New Orleans at St. Louis
  3. Dan Bailey – Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia
  4. Billy Cundiff – Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona
  5. David Akers – San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland
  6. Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots at Pittsburgh
  7. Neil Rackers – Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville
  8. Mike Nugent – Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle
  9. Nick Novak – San Diego Chargers at Kansas City
  10. Alex Henery – Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Read more

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 8

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week?  Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:

Quarterbacks
Start – Matt Hasselbeck – Tennessee Titans – vs. Indianapolis
While he’s coming off a poor showing against the Houston Texans in Week 7 (104 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT), he does have an extremely positive matchup.  The Texans have been among the better defenses against the pass (203.6 yards/game, 8 TD, 8 INT), though the Colts have been the exact opposite.  Not only have they allowed the tenth most passing yards/game at 265.1, but they have allowed a league worst 14 passing touchdowns vs. just three interceptions.  While he’s far from a must use, as a bye week fill-in he’s a great option (the matchup benefits Nate Washington as well, especially in three-receiver formats).

Sit – Matt Cassel – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. San Diego
Cassel had been showing signs of warming up, much like he did in 2010.  He threw 7 TDs over a three week span, including two against the Chargers in Week 3.  However, he threw for just 176 yards in that game, which is basically right at the Chargers’ yards per game average (175.7).  Considering Cassel’s Week 7 struggles, throwing for 161 yards, 0 TD and 2 INT, does anyone really have faith in him?  In fact, he’s topped 180 yards just twice on the season.  There’s too much risk outside of two quarterback formats. Read more

Week 8 Rankings: Top 15 Defenses

by Will Overton

This week we have the Lions, Texans, Bengals and Titans all in the top 10 among defenses and yet the Steelers don’t even crack the top 15. It’s a weird week and a weird season, but none the less here are the top 15 defenses for week 8:

  1. Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona
  2. New York Giants vs. Miami
  3. San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland
  4. New Orleans Saints at St. Louis
  5. Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville
  6. Detroit Lions at Denver
  7. Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis
  8. Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle
  9. San Diego Chargers at Kansas City
  10. Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Read more

Week 8 Sleepers: Quarterback Edition

With the bye weeks still going strong, there is no doubt that many of us are unfortunately weeding out options like this.  Who are the good bets to use for those who are desperate?  Let’s take a look:

John Beck – Washington Redskins – at Buffalo
He played well against a tougher Panthers pass defense in Week 7, going 22-37 for 279 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.  Throw in a great matchup against the Bills, who have allowed the third most passing yards/game at 284.8, and there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

Of course, there’s a reason why he’s considered a sleeper and nothing more, with the most important being that Tim Hightower, Santana Moss & Chris Cooley are all out for the coming week.  Clearly, the talent around him is not going to be at its best, but the weapons will still be there.

Ryan Torain and Roy Helu will likely share running duties, and should do more than enough to keep the Bills honest (at least we know Mike Shanahan will stick with the run).  Beck also showed a great rapport with emerging tight end Fred Davis (6 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD) and Jabar Gaffney (4 receptions, 68 yards).  The talent around him may not be ideal, but that’s not to say that he can’t still produce. Read more

Week 8 Rankings: Top 20 Tight Ends

by Will Overton

Tight End is deeper than it has been in a long time this year and it seems like every week someone else is emerging and pushing towards the top part of this group. Here is the way  I see things at the Tight End spot in week 8:

  1. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints at St. Louis
  2. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia
  3. Fred Davis – Washington Redskins at Buffalo
  4. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers at Kansas City
  5. Aaron Hernandez – New England Patriots at Pittsburgh
  6. Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland
  7. Owen Daniels – Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville
  8. Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions at Denver Read more

Week 8 Rankings: Top 50 Wide Recievers

by Will Overton

The passing game will be looking to take center stage again this week after a strong week for the runners in week 7. There are certainly some enticing matchups for the top WR’s this week which could make things interesting. Here is how my top 50 receivers shakes out:

  1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions at Denver
  2. Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England
  3. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants vs. Miami
  4. Wes Welker – New England Patriots at Pittsburgh
  5. Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota
  6. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego
  7. Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints at St. Louis
  8. Andre Johnson – Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville
  9. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore
  10. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle
  11. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas
  12. Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Read more

Week 8 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

by Will Overton               

There were some monster rushing numbers put up last week across the league from Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, even rookie Demarco Murray who was making his first start and doing it in style. It’s been a passing league all year, but last Sunday the running back stole the glory and it’ll be interesting to see if they can repeat that in Week 8. Here is how I rank the top 40 RB’s for the coming week:

  1. Adrian Peterson at Carolina
  2. Arian Foster vs. Jacksonville
  3. Fred Jackson vs. Washington
  4. Ray Rice vs. Arizona
  5. Frank Gore vs. Cleveland
  6. Lesean McCoy vs. Dallas
  7. Chris Johnson vs. Indianapolis
  8. Demarco Murray at Philadelphia
  9. Maurice Jones-Drew at Houston
  10. Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Miami
  11. Rashard Mendenhall vs. New England
  12. Steven Jackson vs. New Orleans Read more