Fantasy Football Tuesday Tidbits
by Ben Hogan
Much like Week 2, this past week in the NFL provided more questions than answers. While it is true that Tom Brady and Demaryius Thomas found their old form; guys like LeSean McCoy and Larry Fitzgerald are still trying to find theirs. Also, Calvin Johnson can’t stay healthy and Montee Ball, who was struggling, ended up going down with an injury. Guys that I just mentioned were probably taken in your Top 4 rounds, and most were taken in the 1st or 2nd round. If you are an owner with one of these guys mentioned above, here is who you need to pick up to ensure you do not drop off like they have.
Bye Weeks: Kansas City and New Orleans
Here they are below:
Pluck and Play
These are guys that are the cure for your guys that may be out a week or two, but should not be counted on to make an impact all season long. Since the bye weeks start this week, I am also going to mix in players that are bye week players, in which you probably wouldn’t start unless other guys get injured or you have a week in which a lot of players are on a bye.
The starter and the guy that was supposed to look like a RB1, Montee Ball, went down with an injury this past Sunday. Ball never showed the promise that he did at Wisconsin and at small bits last season, but he was the starting running back in the most explosive offense in the NFL. While it is unfortunate that Ball went down, that does open the door for Hillman, who always seems to be there to play backup. The other running back, CJ Anderson, was a healthy scratch this past week. That may have been by design as Manning threw the ball a bunch for over 450 yards and Hillman figures into the passing game more than Anderson. Anderson will play as long as Ball is out, but Hillman is the guy that will make more of an impact than Anderson.
Hester has finally found an offense that will showcase him in the right way. Harry Douglas has been on the shelf ever since that Thursday night shellacking of the Bucs in which he was injured. Enter Hester. In Week 4 he had five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown, and last week he narrowly missed another TD. Hester will have revenge on his mind when the Falcons take on the Bears and as we have seen with DeSean Jackson vs the Eagles and Steve Smith vs the Panthers, Hester should have a HUGE day vs the Bears.
Others: Benny Cunningham - Rams; Antone Smith - Falcons; Marvin Jones - Bengals
It seems every week, whether due to injuries, off-the-field incidents, or just playing better than the guy in front of them, there are two or three guys worth picking up off the waiver wire that could be season savers.
The two guys that I will be writing about this week are in similar situations, but feel that Williams will be the guy you should go after first if he is available in your league. Just looking at the numbers, it appears Williams is available in just under ⅔ of the leagues. He is stepping in due to an injury to Rashad Jennings, who could be out anywhere from one week to four weeks. Williams was already getting carries not only in garbage time, but a change of pace back. Coughlin loves these types of guys (see: Brandon Jacobs, Andre Brown, Ron Dayne, etc.) and they get utilized a bunch; therefore will continue to get carries once Jennings does return.
Fantasy owners and Jets fans got to know Brandon Oliver real quick this past Sunday as he stepped in for the injury depleted Chargers backfield and took the lead role. Ryan Mathews is expected to return in a week or two and will reclaim the starting position, but with Danny Woodhead done for the season, Donald Brown looking like a FA bust, and Mike McCoy liking to use different looks, Oliver should continue to get touches when Mathews returns. Oliver, at least for one game, looked like a Darren Sproles clone, right down to the number.
Others: Malcolm Floyd - Chargers; Austin Davis - Rams; Justin Hunter - Titans
All of these guys below are players that have underwhelmed so far this season and if you need to pick up somebody else, feel free to drop these guys.
I hate to say this, as I thought Chris Johnson would be a good fit in the Jets offense, sharing carries with Chris Ivory. Looks like I was wrong as Ivory as been way better in the time he has seen the field. It seems every week there are two or three running backs that are hot tickets on the waiver wire and if you need to drop somebody, feel free to drop Johnson. Johnson’s carries have decreased each week and is obviously playing second fiddle to Ivory.
Shorts is owned in almost 90 % of leagues and wide receiver is too deep for you to hang onto a guy that may play this week or he may not. Seems to be a guessing game each week with Shorts and as strange as it is to say, there are other weapons in Jacksonville that will take targets away from Shorts. Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, and Allen Hurns are guys that could each outperform Shorts on any given week.
Others: Terrance West - Browns; Donald Brown - Chargers; Dwayne Bowe - Chiefs
Predicting which running back is going to get the majority of the carries in a timeshare can be tough, so let me figure it out for you. Each week I will break down 2 running backs by committee.
Last week in this very article, I suggested that McKinnon should be your number one target on the waiver wire and I still believe if you picked up McKinnon, you will be rewarded. It’s tough to base anything on last week’s game as Christian Ponder was just horrendous. Teddy Bridgewater should return this week and that will benefit McKinnon. In the last two games the numbers on total touches look like this: Asiata - 23 (Week 4) & 15 (Week 5); McKinnon - 19 (Week 4) & 10 (Week 5). I think this week it will be closer to a 50/50 share than last week. Both are worth owning, Asiata safer start and McKinnon with higher upside.
One of the more frustrating things for fantasy owners is the promise of a rookie like Bishop Sankey breaking out. It looked as if Week 5 was the prime time for Sankey to do such that, as he got his first touchdown in a game in Week 4 and he was cutting into Shonn Greene’s playing time. Not only that, but he gained the support of Coach Ken Whisenhunt. But, it was all smoke and mirrors as Sankey once again disappointed rushing eight times for 27 yards. I don’t think Greene is worth holding onto if you can get something better for the future, but Sankey is worth a roster spot. Just don’t expect big things in Week 6, let him prove that now is his time before you rely on him
Make sure you catch ESPN 790 Fantasy Kickoff Show on ESPN 790 every Sunday from 11 AM - Noon right up until kickoff so you are prepared for the week in Fantasy Football. I am the host and Bennett Doyle produces. Also, hit me up on Twitter @NotTheGolfer for all of your fantasy questions and hate.