Fantasy Football Tuesday Tidbits
by Ben Hogan
We are now halfway through the Fantasy Football season with the completion of Week 8, but for most of you the season will end in the next seven weeks. The end game is always to drink from that Championship Cup at the completion of the season, but if your team isn’t one of the lucky ones to compete in the Playoffs, don’t give up because others are counting on you to provide competition until you are eliminated. Suppose you were in the position of another owner and you were the one that needed the help, chances are you will be in the same league with the same guys next year and folks remember that stuff.
The bye week bonanza returns this week with six teams on bye, so roster depth is super important, here are some guys below that you may look to add to keep your momentum going.
Bye Weeks: Atlanta, Buffalo, Tennessee, Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit
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.
Palmer is owned in barely over a third of the leagues, mainly because a lot of owners dropped him when he went down with the arm injury, not knowing when or even if he would see the field again. Since his return three weeks ago, Palmer has put up fantasy totals of 18, 16, and 21 in standard leagues. I could think of a lot worse bye week replacements for owners of Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, and Jay Cutler. Owners of Cutler and Ryan would be able to use Palmer as a plug and play for bad matchups.
I would be lying if I told you that I knew I would recommend somebody to pick up Kenny Britt in Fantasy Football. But, with the season ending injury to Brian Quick, the Rams now have to look elsewhere for their number one receiver. Enter Britt. He has shown himself capable as he had 52 yards last week and now with Quick out, he will be called upon to be their go-to-guy. Britt is someone that needs a second chance like this, no surprise it is coming from the man who drafted him in Jeff Fisher. He has the talent to succeed, it’s just all about him getting his head right.
Streaming Defenses of the Week - Chiefs vs Jets; Bengals vs Jaguars
Others: Lorenzo Taliaferro - Ravens; Juwan Thompson - Broncos; Paul Richardson - Seahawks
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 wrote about Jonas in the “Backfield Battles” segment of my article last week and said he is the guy to own in the Patriots backfield. Obviously, not enough owners picked him up because he is still available in over 95% of fantasy leagues. Two weeks ago people were talking about Brandon Bolden or James White taking over for the injured Stevan Ridley. Now, it’s clear that job belongs to Gray as he had 17 carries for 86 yards. If Brady wasn’t rolling like he was, Gray would have been used in goal line situations. Gray will be the lead back for the Patriots from here on out and if you need some help at the position, I recommend you pick him up.
#FeedMoncrief. The Colts did that in their shootout with the Steelers and were rewarded with a seven catch, 133 yard effort from the rookie out of Ole Miss. Moncrief was filling in for the injured Reggie Wayne, and I think that his performance proved himself more than worthy of taking over that third receiver spot occupied by Hakeem Nicks once Wayne returns. Add Moncrief now and thank me later.
Others: Martavis Bryant - Steelers; Charles Sims - Bucs; John Brown - Cardinals
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.
Yes, it is that time, the Playoffs are coming around and you need to make sure you have a team that can position you to get the best draw in the playoffs. Rumors are swirling around the Tampa area that the Bucs are looking at activating rookie Charles Sims off of the IR and could be starting within the next two weeks. That doesn’t bode well for Martin owners who expected a lot more from a guy in which they spent their first or second round pick on.
A guy who seemed to be on the cusp of stardom two years ago has yet to find the end zone once this season and hasn’t hit the century mark either. Bowe may end up finding the end zone eventually, and if you want to roll the dice with him, go for it, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. Bowe may be the number one “receiver” in Kansas City, but Jamaal Charles is the man that will get the touches there.
Others: Wes Welker - Broncos; LeGarrette Blount - Steelers; Owen Daniels - Ravens
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.
First thing is Ben Tate in the number one guy no matter what for the Browns, as neither Crowell nor West have shown much of anything that would cause Head Coach Mike Pettine to make the switch. But, at the beginning of the season, Crowell was good enough to be used as a bye week replacement, but now not so much. Word out of Cleveland is that they don’t trust Crowell because of his fumbling problems, but are willing to give him a shot to show them something. Right now, Tate is the only one worth starting and unless he goes down with an injury or you are wanting to handcuff, the other two are droppable.
Montee Ball will be returning to the Broncos in the next couple of weeks and with that, the running back situation becomes even cloudier than it is now. Three weeks ago Hillman was the guy and then this past Thursday night, Thompson the vulture swooped in and took two touchdowns from Hillman who did most of the leg work. Chances are, Ball will slowly start taking reps from Hillman, but depending on his performance, he may or may not reclaim that starting job. It will be worth watching on who is practicing with the first and second teams during practice over the next couple of weeks in Denver.
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.