Fantasy Football Tuesday Tidbits
by Ben Hogan
The first three weeks of the NFL season are in the books and now things become more difficult as a fantasy owner as bye weeks begin and continue through Week 12. A whopping six teams on a bye this week means there is going to be plenty of pickups off the waiver wire in your league, make sure you get the right ones.
Bye Weeks: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis, Arizona, Seattle
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 Baltimore Ravens are without the suspended Ray Rice for at least the whole season and this past Sunday, they were also without Bernard Pierce, who sat with an injury. That left them with Justin Forsett, who has been a pretty solid fill-in; and the rookie Taliaferro. He made the most of his debut as he racked up 91 yards on just 18 carries and also reached the end zone. I keep him as just a spot start guy because: 1. Pierce will return to the top of the depth chart and 2. Forsett has done nothing to hurt his status as the number two in Baltimore.
Sunday saw the debut of two more rookie quarterbacks as Bridgewater entered for the Vikings due to an injury to Matt Cassel and Blake Bortles in Jacksonville due to ineffectiveness by Chad Henne. I liked what I saw from both, but if I had to add one now, it would be Bridgewater. He looked competent in the pocket and showed playmaking ability. He won’t lead your team to a fantasy title, but could lead them to a victory if your team needs a bye week replacement.
Others: Alfred Blue - Texans; Allen Robinson - Jaguars; Darrel Young - Redskins
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.
I have no clue why this guy isn’t owned in more leagues. As of this writing, Benjamin is owned in a little over a third of leagues. I guess it’s because he is a rookie who had a big Week 1, mediocre Week 2; but now with a huge Week 3, it’s time for fantasy owners to believe. Benjamin is the real deal and behind Greg Olsen, he will be Cam Newton’s favorite target in Carolina.
A somewhat under the radar signing in the offseason was thrust into the spotlight on the Ravens Thursday night throttling of Pittsburgh in Week 2 as Daniels, and not the Ravens starting TE Dennis Pitta caught two touchdown passes. Now, it appears that Pitta is out for the season with a dislocated hip. Daniels was the starter in Houston for the past eight seasons, even though last year, it was cut short due to injury in which he only played five games. If you lost Pitta for the season or Kyle Rudolph for the next six weeks, then pick up Daniels.
Others: Jordan Matthews - Eagles; Brian Quick - Rams;
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.
Surprised he hasn’t caught on quicker in Indianapolis, TY Hilton and Reggie Wayne appear to be the receivers to own in Indy. There also seems to be too many mouths to feed as Pep Hamilton wants to use both Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw in the run and pass game, as well as both Tight Ends (Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener) in the pass game. Nicks may just be the odd man out some games and if you are looking for consistency in your receivers then Nicks is a player you want to drop.
If you are lucky enough to have the depth or are able to space out your bye weeks on your roster without having to dump Sankey, then more power to you. Sankey is basically a victim of bye weeks on most teams. Sankey will be the starter in Tennessee by the end of the season, but he isn’t going to do your squad any good right now. The Titans offense has been abysmal the last two weeks and in order to get Sankey going, you need to establish something in the passing game again. It may be a while before Sankey becomes a fantasy factor, so advance with caution.
Others: Dennis Pitta - Ravens; Jordan Reed - Redskins
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.
Davis filled in admirably for the injured Jamaal Charles by carrying the ball 32 times for 132 yards and a touchdown. Plan on Charles returning this week for the Chiefs Monday night tilt vs New England. I think Andy Reid may rely more on Davis when Charles returns than he planned on doing this season. Davis has shown he can be a factor when given the chance and if Kansas City can turn more into a running team, it could benefit their playoff chances. Hold onto Davis when Charles returns to see what they do with him, as it’s possible both could become fantasy starters while both are healthy.
The amount of carries these two guys have combined has decreased each game as in Week 1 they had 23, then Week 2 it was 17, and finally this past week, Gore and Hyde combined for nine total carries. San Francisco lost the last two and to me, it’s easy to see why. They need to get these guys more involved if they want to win games and Jim Harbaugh isn’t dumb, so look for them to try and establish a run game in Week 4. Keep both of these guys on your roster, but I wouldn’t blame you keeping them on your bench until the situation is figured out.
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.