Fantasy Football Tuesday Tidbits
by Ben Hogan
The Fantasy Football season is now a quarter of the way over and hopefully most of you have gotten at least one win under your belt. If not, still not time to panic, as in most leagues a 7-6 or 8-5 team may be the final seed in the playoff and you haven’t reached that magic number of losses. Just make sure you pay attention this week and make the right moves to sneak into the playoffs.
Week 4 was the first week of byes, with a whopping six teams not playing, it made it a little more difficult to put together a lineup. The next four weeks, only two teams will be on bye each week, then after that, things pick back up with four and six team bye weeks.
Bye Weeks: Oakland and Miami
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 Carolina backfield is a minefield, it seems once you think a guy is good to go, he goes down with an injury. Reaves is the fourth man up as DeAngelo Williams has become the latest casualty, joining Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert on the injured list. Keep in mind though, the Panthers did just pick up Chris Ogbonnaya, but not sure if he takes away from Reaves this week. Also another thing worth noting is Reaves’ longest carry last week was for five yards, remember, it’s a pluck and play, not a season saver.
I never thought that I would put another Tampa Bay player in here, but with Mike Glennon at QB, it seems their offense found some life. Unfortunately rookie Mike Evans got injured and appears to be out at least one, to maybe three weeks. Murphy picked up the slack by hauling in eight catches for 99 yards. Murphy is a pickup if you have Evans or in a PPR, could do much worse than him.
Others: Denard Robinson - Jaguars; Roy Helu - Redskins; Brandon LaFell - Patriots
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.
Folks may be wondering why I am putting a guy on here that is a “backup” to a guy that scored three touchdowns this past Sunday. Well, the answer is easy: this “backup” had 18 carries himself and averaged 7.5 yards per carry. McKinnon won’t be the change of pace back or backup for long as he is too talented to keep touches from him. It seems like the Vikings are ready to move on without AP (who may or may not return to NFL this season) and McKinnon is the future.
I mentioned Kelce in the others category below a few weeks ago and the reason I list him here now is because folks need to take notice. Kelce is a big, strong, quick, Tight End who is a favorite target for Alex Smith. His snap count continues to increase each week and he is no doubt a TE1 in every fantasy league. He is on pace for over 1,000 yards receiving this season.
Others: Larry Donnell - Giants; Eddie Royal - Chargers; Devin Hester - Falcons
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.
In an unfortunate turn of events for Douglas, it appears he could be the guy that is the casualty thanks to the addition of Devin Hester. Hester fits better in the Falcons pass game as a complement to Roddy White and Julio Jones than Douglas does. I feel the Falcons may see it that way too and Douglas will lose reps to Hester and may only become useful to fantasy owners if White or Jones goes down.
Kyle Orton has been named the replacement for Manuel in Buffalo. Chances are anyway that Manuel was used as a backup on your roster so you won’t be losing your starter. I don’t know if Orton is worth a pickup, we will see what he still has come Sunday, but until then, a Buffalo QB is not recommended for your roster.
Others: Geno Smith - Jets; Maurice Jones-Drew - Raiders; Ladarius Green - Chargers
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.
This past Sunday, Lamar Miller made his case to remain starter when Moreno returns after the Dolphins bye week. Miller took advantage of facing a weak Raiders run defense and scored two touchdowns while averaging over 5 yards per carry. The only thing that may keep him from being the workhorse is his fumbling as he lost one at the goal line. I would wait on starting either one in Week 6 just to see how their workloads break down.
When the season started it looked as though Toby Gerhart would be great to own as a third or fourth running back because there wasn’t anybody threatening to take carries from him. Now, we sit four weeks in and Robinson is already seeing more plays on the field than Gerhart. To be fair, Gerhart got the goal line carries and will continue to do so, but if you have the space on your roster, add Robinson as he could continue to chip away at Gerhart’s playing time and become more and more valuable to your fantasy team.
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.