Fantasy Football Tuesday Tidbits
by Ben Hogan
The end of Week 7 has brought us to over the halfway point in most Fantasy Football leagues. If you aren’t at the halfway point, you will be after this upcoming week and if you feel like your team is on the outside looking in, don’t panic quite yet. The reason I say that is because this season has been so unpredictable that there could be that one guy you pick up that propels you up the standings, and he could be in one of the lists below.
Quick head’s up also, Atlanta and Detroit will be playing in London and kicking off at 8:30 AM CT, so make sure you have the Falcons and Lions players ready to go in your lineup the night before.
Bye Weeks: New York Giants and San Francisco
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 Buffalo Bills may have come back and won last Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, but they also lost their top two running backs in a span of five minutes. CJ Spiller was lost for the year after he broke his collarbone and Fred Jackson will also be shelved for the foreseeable future. Anthony “Boobie” Dixon picked up where they left off gaining 51 yards on 13 carries. You may be asking yourself, “Why should I pick up a guy that hasn’t been active all season?” in Bryce Brown. The reason is because he can break plays and Anthony Dixon can’t. Dixon will still be used in short yardage situations, but I believe that Brown will be used more as a feature back at least for the next two to four weeks while Fred Jackson is out.
Cadet is listed as a running back on the depth chart and considered a RB in fantasy football. He has three carries all season, the value in Cadet is his part in the passing game for the Saints. Even with Pierre Thomas in the lineup, Cadet has been targeted more often (20 times in the past 3 weeks), but now Thomas will miss up to three weeks, Cadet should see an uptick in targets to more than likely double digits. Cadet is especially valuable in PPR leagues and should be picked up in all of those.
Streaming Defenses of the Week - Dolphins @Jaguars; Vikings @Bucs
Others: Joseph Randle - Cowboys; Brandon LaFell - Patriots; Jonathan Stewart - Panthers
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.
In a surprise to most people, Percy Harvin was traded from Seattle to the Jets last Friday afternoon, and because of that, Baldwin becomes their number on receiver. Baldwin did not disappoint in his first game as their primary receiver by hauling in seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Seattle feels pretty confident in what they have in their receiving corp (Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson, and Kevin Norwood), but the most important thing in Russell Wilson’s confidence and Baldwin has that. Seattle will rely on the run a little bit more, but Baldwin will be just fine as the go-to-guy in Seattle.
It was Toby Gerhart first, then it was Storm Johnson, and now it’s Denard Robinson. The difference is that Robinson looked really good as the primary back for the Jaguars. It also didn’t hurt that the Jaguars got their first win of the season. I know the running back pool is thin and Robinson is worth adding, so go ahead and do it without reservation.
Others: Tre Mason - Rams; Owen Daniels - Ravens; Ryan Tannehill - Dolphins
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.
All week leading up to last Sunday, fantasy football owners were well aware that Stacy would be losing carries to Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham. But, what they did not know was that Stacy would play just one snap and it appears that Mason has won the job as the Rams’ running back. It’s unfortunate because while Stacy’s production had declined a bit, it was also because the Rams faced tough matchups early in the season. Whether or not Stacy gets out of Jeff Fisher’s doghouse is anybody’s guess, so go ahead and release him.
He may just blow the second half of the season away, but Witten hasn’t looked like an important part of this explosive Dallas offense so far. In fact, the other Tight End on the squad, Gavin Escobar had as many touchdowns (2) as Witten did catches in the Cowboys win over the Giants on Sunday. I am not saying go pick up Escobar, but do feel safe telling you to dump Witten.
Others: Jeremy Hill - Bengals; Khiry Robinson - Saints; Danny Amendola - Patriots
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 one can get complicated as common sense and previous play, Bryce Brown should be the obvious answer, which I think actually will end up being the right answer. The wrench in all of this is Dixon played well in relief of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller and felt like he earned the starting spot. Brown will get plenty of touches, but Dixon may end up being the one getting the touchdowns. Fred Jackson is the number one whenever he returns, no doubt about it.
Most fantasy owners loathe Bill Belichick in the sense that you never know what he is thinking and usually the only two constants in the lineup are Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. The guessing game reared its’ ugly head on Thursday as many thought Bolden would figure in the offense with Vereen. As Lee Corso would say “Not so fast!” Jonas Gray was pulled off the practice squad that day and got the second most carries behind Vereen. From what I’ve read, Vereen will be the guy, and Jonas Gray will play the Ridley role as many in the organization feel he is as close to a Ridley clone you can get, minus the fumbles. Vereen needs to be owned in every league, Gray should be rostered in deeper leagues.
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.