Archive for November 30, 2012

10 Key Target Trends From Week 12: Jermichael Finley, Mike Wallace, Mohammed Sanu & More

by Ray Kuhn

Here are 10 players from Week 12 who I felt it was important to analyze based on their targets:

  1. Stevie Johnson (15 targets, 6 catches, 106 yards).  In what was the first game all season that Johnson gained over 100 yards, there were still some things to be concerned about.  While he did do a lot with the catches he had, you would have liked to see him catch a few of those other nine passes thrown his way.  Also the fact that he was once again held out of the end zone is troubling and the mild controversy from which he has already backtracked from regarding the play calling.  Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the best quarterback in the league, but the Bills will still try to throw the ball down field and a lot of the times that will be in Johnson’s direction.  On a team that lacks any other true downfield threats, Johnson will continue to receive targets and if he catches more than 40% of them, he could follow this up with another big performance against the Jaguars and their 28th ranked passing defense.
  2. Torrey Smith (13 targets, 7 catches, 144 yards).  Smith bounced back in a big way on Sunday. He was the clear go to threat for Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense.  He did only catch a little more than 50% of his targets, but for a player like Smith that is a ratio you can live with (especially when he is being targeted as much as he was this week).  Plus he averaged about 20 yards a catch, so you can’t argue with production like that.  This was actually only the second game this season where Smith gained over 100 yards receiving, so hopefully he carries this positive momentum into the rematch with the with Steelers. Read more

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 13: Chris Johnson, Cecil Shorts, Cam Newton & More

 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:

Start – Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at Kansas City
Just when fantasy owners are ready to give up on Newton he shows off just how talented he is. Playing on Monday night, all Newton did was throw for 306 yards and two touchdowns while adding 52 rushing yards and another two touchdowns. Considering many likely debated sitting him, those who held the faith were handsomely rewarded. Now he gets to try and follow up that success against a Chiefs’ defense that has allowed 22 passing touchdowns this season (one behind the league leaders). Throw in his ability with his legs and Newton is well worth using in all formats.

Sit – Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – vs. Seattle
If both of Seattle’s corner backs were out of action, as originally expected, this would be a whole different ball game. However, by appealing their suspensions both will be in action all but eliminating any fantasy potential for Cutler. As it is the Seahawks have allowed the second fewest passing touchdowns in the league (10). Throw in the fact that Cutler has not thrown for more than 229 yards in each of his past five games (and has one touchdown or less in four of them), and it’s an easy decision. Even if Matt Forte is forced to miss the game I wouldn’t trust him. Read more

Week 13 Rankings: Top 15 Defenses

Let’s wrap up our Week 13 rankings by looking at the best defensive options:

  1. Chicago Bears – vs. Seattle
  2. San Francisco 49ers – at St. Louis
  3. New England Patriots – at Miami
  4. Carolina Panthers – at Kansas City
  5. New York Giants – at Washington
  6. Houston Texans – at Tennessee
  7. Cleveland Browns – at Oakland
  8. Arizona Cardinals – at New York Jets
  9. Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
  10. Denver Broncos – vs. Tampa Bay Read more

Thursday Night Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Saints vs. Falcons: Darren Sproles, Michael Turner & More

Must Start Options
Quarterback - Drew Bree’s (NO), Matt Ryan (Atl)
Running Back - None
Wide Receiver - Roddy White (Atl), Julio Jones (Atl), Marques Colston (NO)
Tight End - Jimmy Graham (NO), Tony Gonzalez (Atl)

Open for Discussion
Running Back – Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints
We all know that Sproles’ value comes from his ability to catch the football, as he hasn’t gotten more than seven carries in a game this season. In his first game back he wasn’t given a handoff, but did bring in seven receptions for 65 yards. In a game that is likely going to be a shootout, this gives him the highest upside of any Saints’ running back (as is the case for most weeks).

However, that doesn’t make him a recommended option. There’s just too much uncertainty and too many other weapons to say for sure tha Sproles is going to post big numbers. Could he have the type of day he did against the Panthers (13 receptions for 128 yards)? Absolutely, but he could just as easily post a line like the one he had against San Diego (5 receptions for 28 yards). He is electric, which keeps him as a FLEX option, but you likely have a better option for a RB2 spot. Read more

Week 13 Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers

Let’s continue our look around the league and try to determine which wide receivers are worth playing this week, and who may be better off left on your bench:

  1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. Indianapolis
  2. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals – at San Diego
  3. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos – vs. Tampa Bay
  4. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Philadelphia
  5. Andre Johnson – Houston Texans – at Tennessee
  6. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  7. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  8. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – at Washington
  9. Marques Colston – New Orleans – at Atlanta
  10. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts – at Detroit
  11. Victor Cruz – New York Giants – at Washington
  12. Vincent Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Denver Read more

Week 13 Rankings: Top 15 Kickers

Let’s continue our look around the league with our top kickers for Week 13:

  1. Lawrence Tynes – New York Giants – at Washington
  2. Matt Bryant – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  3. Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – at Miami
  4. Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
  5. Blair Walsh – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
  6. Phil Dawson – Cleveland Browns – at Oakland
  7. Shayne Graham – Houston Texans – at Tennessee
  8. Connor Barth – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Denver
  9. Matt Prater – Denver Broncos – vs. Tampa Bay
  10. Jason Hanson – Detroit Lions – vs. Indianapolis Read more

Musing & Confusing: Randon Week 12 Thoughts: Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger & More

by Ray Kuhn

Here are some thoughts that I had after Week 12’s games.

  • Even before Eli Manning admitted that his stamina and arm strength was down going into the bye week, Manning and the Giants offense as a whole looked a lot better against the Packers.  The Giants running game did the best they had in a month and the offensive line looked fresher as well.  The real star of the game was Manning.  Yes you would have liked to see him go better than 16 for 30 passing, and he missed on a few potential big plays as well.  However after 3 games with no touchdown passes and only one touchdown in each of the two games prior it is safe to assume that most fantasy owners were pleased with Manning’s 3 touchdown passes.  Were the game not a blowout perhaps his numbers would have been better, but this was exactly the positive momentum the Giants needed to build on coming out of the bye week and down the stretch of the season.
  • Maybe the biggest beneficiary of Manning’s performance was Hakeem Nicks, who had 5 catches for 77 yards and his second touchdown of the season.  Granted some the trouble with Nicks this season has been his own injury woes, but this is a good sign for Nicks the rest of the way.  If Manning was sharper, Nicks would have had a lot more to show for his 13 targets. Read more

Week 13 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

We discussed the ever changing landscape of the running back position yesterday (click here to view).  How do the recent split in carries impact the rankings?  What about the recent slew of injuries?  Which matchups hurt and which ones help?  Let’s put it all together for this weeks rankings:

  1. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at Tennessee
  2. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
  3. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Denver
  4. Trent Richardson – Cleveland Browns – at Oakland
  5. C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills – vs. Jacksonville
  6. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Carolina
  7. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
  8. Alfred Morris – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Giants
  9. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – at St. Louis
  10. Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots – at Miami
  11. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Houston
  12. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – at Chicago Read more

Streaming Defenses: Week 13

Solid Options
Cleveland Browns at Oakland
Yahoo – 21%, ESPN – 8.6%

The Browns defense actually hasn’t been too bad this season, totalling 28 sacks, 13 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries. While the Raiders offense entered Week 12 on a roll, they were silenced by the Cncinnati Bengals (with Carson Palmer throwing for under 150 yards).

Oakland quarterbacks have thrown 12 interceptions and been sacked 24 times, which alone would give Cleveland chances to make some plays. It looks even better as it appears Carson Palmer has started taking more risks with the football. He has at least one interception in seven straight games, including seven picks in his past four.

While Oakland is likely going to rebound and put some points on the board, there is more than enough to like about Cleveland’s potential to make some plays. Read more

Backfield In Motion: Looking At The Running Back News (Matt Forte, C.J. Spiller & More)

Looking for updates on all the muddled running back situations?  Let’s take a look at the early week news as we head towards Week 13:

Atlanta Falcons
Notes for Week 13: Jacquizz Rodgers continues to eat into Michael Turner’s playing time

According to Jay Adams of the team’s official website (click here for the post), the split between the two:

  •  RB Jacquizz Rodgers – 31 snaps offense, 6 snaps ST
  • RB Michael Turner – 23 snaps offense

It’s extremely interesting and speaks volumes.  While Rodgers is far from a must use option, if you are in need of a FLEX play he is looking like a worthwhile option.  Will he “officially” take over the lead back duties?  Time will tell, but it certainly appears to be moving in that direction for 2013, if not sooner. Read more