I’m keeping the same format as we’ve been doing the lasttwo weeks. Feel free to see those past posts for more players you might have missed for the stretch run.
Week 11 Pickups
Those who have followed my pickups in the past know I’m a fan of Danario Alexander. He’s got fantastic hands and always seems capable of taking it to the house…when his knees agree with him, that is.
If Robert Meachem could loan Alexander his knees, Alexander might be a lock as the No. 1 wide receiver for the Chargers the rest of the way. As it is, you’ll have to risk Alexander staying on the field. He’s still worth adding.
And if you’re still in need of receiver help, don’t forget about Cecil Shorts. And Donald Jones looks like he will keep producing in Buffalo, especially in PPR leagues with his consistent catches.
Mark Ingram had the most touches, and Darren Sproles should return soon. But for the second week in a row, Ivory found the end zone. It makes you wonder if the Saints’ coaches will be able to keep him off the field.
Pierre Garcon will “test” his foot injury this week. He may even try to play. I wouldn’t consider starting him, but if you have the space to put him on your bench, this is the week to stash him away. Robert Griffin III needs his No. 1 target back if he can get him.
Remember to grab Beanie Wells and Cedric Benson for your roster as well if no one else has hidden them away yet. Wells should return in Week 12, and Benson could help you in the fantasy playoffs.
Greg Olsen was the Panthers offense in Week 10. It’s nice to see his matchups finally pay off. Against Tampa Bay in Week 11, he could stay hot.
If you are quarterbackless — first of all, what a terrible word…and a what terrible thing to be — Jake Locker makes for an intriguing grab after the Titans dismantled the Dolphins. Locker didn’t do much, but he certainly gave the Titans a spark.
I’ve mentioned him in previous weeks, but I didn’t want anyone to forget about him while he’s on bye in Week 11. When Locker returns, he could show us the Titans we expected to see this season with him at the controls.
Nick Foles and Colin Kaepernick could both make for interesting one-week plays if you have a quarterback on bye this week while Michael Vick and Alex Smith recover from their concussions.
It’s very possible Smith will play this week, but in Vick’s case, Foles may be the starter for the rest of the season in Philly if the organization decides to move on and look towards the future.
Foles could have QB2 value, but it’s hard to see much more than that with the Eagles’ poor line play and his inexperience.
At least those two young quarterbacks might be more exciting to own than Byron Leftwich or Jason Campbell.
I was really disappointed in the election results. I thought we were all going to write in Doug Martin, you guys! I was looking forward to finally having a cool nickname for the POTUS like Muscle Hamster.
But alas, I guess you guys care about the economy and social issues beyond just fantasy football wins. What’s wrong with you? Winning fantasy football games was my main issue this election season.
So now I’m back to my campaign strategizing for RGIII and Doug Martin in 2016. You might think Alfred Morris would be his preferred running mate, and, in a way, he is. But Morris is much more secretary of state material.
We’re going with the same format for pickups as last week. If you didn’t like it…well, you should have spoken up last week.
Week 10 Pickups
Marcel Reece is the hottest commodity this week after both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson suffered high ankle sprains in Week 9. It appears that Run DMC’s sprain is the most severe, but there have been few updates on either running back since they went down. I’d expect them to both miss at least one week. It’s likely to be longer in McFadden’s case.
In their absence, Reece inherited most of the running back duties and caught the ball out of the backfield. Reece was already a trusted part of the offense, so I expect the Raiders to lean on him while they wait on their top two backs to heal. Taiwan Jones is a burner, but the coaches don’t seem very confident in him just yet.
Considering McFadden’s history, stashing Mike Goodson, despite his injury, could also be a sneaky move if he’s unowned as he might return to duty before Run DMC and supplant Reece. The Raiders have a beautiful schedule down the stretch.
Ryan Tannehill continues to do much with a very little in the Dolphins’ offense. If Miami upgrades at receiver, he could be a more reliable fantasy start next season. This week, he faces a very generous Tennessee Titans D/ST. I expect him to put up decent numbers as a bye-week fill in this one.
Jake Locker returned to practicing this week but may not play until after the Titans’ bye week in Week 11. This Titans’ offense could use his arm and mobility at this point in the season, and he’ll likely benefit from the signs of life Chris Johnson has shown these last few weeks.
Also on the injury front, don’t forget that Beanie Wells, Cedric Benson, and Vincent Brown are all expected to return in the next few weeks from the IR. If they aren’t owned in your league, you best add them now. Benson may be the most lucrative of the bunch since Green Bay hasn’t figured out their running game in his absence.
For the running back needy, Joique Bell and Jacquizz Rodgers inconsistently produce in their respective offenses. Unfortunately, outside of PPR leagues, their value will be fairly limited unless the starters in front of them (Mikel Leshoure and Michael Turner) are injured. It doesn’t look like Rodgers is going to come close to the offseason hype train he was riding this offseason.
If you need pass catchers, Emmanuel Sanders should fill in for an injured Antonio Brown this week against the Chiefs, which makes him a solid one-week play if not more. T.Y. Hilton is in a similar situation if Donnie Avery can’t suit up for the Colts.
Best of luck in Week 10, and remember…RGIII/Martin in 2016.
I’ve coined a new fantasy football term this season: “getting Shonn Greened.” Sadly, it’s to describe the miserable performance of my own fantasy team.
I drafted well, according to most rankings, guides, and general opinion, but my team manages, time and time again, to play down to my opponent. They underwhelm when everyone expects them to have a huge week, and they never text me to let me know ahead of time.
This week, the failings were all on my team. I lost because Larry Fitzgerald didn’t get the ball to break the plane against the 49ers Monday night on his fourth down dive…or because Dez Bryant was a fingertip too far into the endzone against the Giants when he came down with the game-winning pass.
Fingertips…I mean, what are they good for?
So needless to say, I expect my team to continue to underachieve and/or inspire my opponent to have his best game of the year. Trust that I’ll be getting Shonn Greened all season.
Week 9 Pickups
Considering that we’re halfway through the year, I’m dropping our usual format. Instead, I’ll just be listing a few names with the most important of those coming off the top. Skim through these names and add as you see fit.
This late in the season, you may be looking for stashes rather than immediate one-week plugins, so I leave the choice to you as to which of these guys is most worth adding on your roster.
The high priority pickups are names we’ve talked about previously. Jonathan Dwyer (Steelers RB) could hold onto the early down role in Pittsburgh despite the return of Rashard Mendenhall. The Rams expect Danny Amendola (Rams WR) to try returning to active duty this week, and I expect him to immediately become Sam Bradford’s favorite person ever. Titus Young (Lions WR), in his first game filling in for the injured Nate Burleson, scored twice. So if he wasn’t good enough you to pick him up last week, maybe he’s changed your mind.
Cecil Shorts (Jaguars WR) appears to be the No. 1 guy in Jacksonville and has a schedule worth watching the rest of the season. You might not like watching the Jaguars passing game, but Shorts has WR3 potential. While many of us forgot about Dustin Keller (Jets TE) while he was hurt, Mark Sanchez did not. As long as he’s the Jets’ quarterback, Keller will remain a big part of the passing game.
Josh Gordon (Browns WR) continues to receive the most looks in Cleveland. While he didn’t get in the endzone against the Chargers, you shouldn’t hold that against him. On the other hand, Ryan Broyles (Lions WR) made it to pay dirt for the second straight week. He’s no Titus Young, but if the Lions’ offense turns around, Broyles will retain his value as an important part of the offense near the goal line.
On the quarterback front, Josh Freeman (Bucs QB) has emerged as a solid bye week option with three straight three-touchdown weeks. This week, he gets to face the Raiders, who are still without their top corners.
There’s not a lot of talent emerging at this point in the season, but you might find a few names on the waiver wire who disappointed their owners early in the year. Jacquizz Rodgers (Falcons RB) logged his best game of the season in Week 8, but he may never live up to the hype he had coming into 2012. DeAngelo Williams (Panthers RB) would have value if traded, but it seems unlikely considering his hefty contract. LeGarrette Blount (Bucs RB) might see his number called before the trade deadline, but he’d have to land in Green Bay to have starter value.
I’ve been hearing all about how much Green Bay likes Steven Jackson (Rams RB) this week, but I’ve also been hearing that the Packers won’t be willing to part with the money it would take to bring a big name in to shore up their running game.
And lastly, Peyton Hillis (Chiefs RB) returned to the field this past week. Hillis had several good runs while the Chiefs were neglecting Jamaal Charles on Sunday. The Chiefs may mix him in more often to keep Charles healthy and add some kind of variety to their offense.
It’s horrible to watch your stud running back go down with an injury. It’s especially horrible when you don’t own his backup.
But it’s incredibly joyful for all of us surfing the waiver wire.
After DeMarco Murray went down last week and opened the door for two potential running back pickups Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner, Maurice Jones-Drew injured his foot this week.
Rashad Jennings, who steps into his place, should be the hottest pickup of the week.
So let’s drop the chatter and get right to the pickups.
I won’t go into all the guys we’ve recommended in the past, but feel free to browse through the past fewweeks ofwaiver wirerecs if you’re looking for more help in shallow leagues.
As always, FAAB percentages are guesstimated next to each player.
Week 8 Pickups
Rashad Jennings, RB, Jaguars (40% or more) Maurice Jones-Drew will miss some time with his foot injury, which makes Jennings an automatic RB2 just because of the workload he inherits in Jacksonville. You might have to break the bank to get him, even though MJD’s injury doesn’t look as severe as it could have been. I set the FAAB at 40%, but that’s only because it’s about the minimum I expect Jennings to go for in leagues where he isn’t already owned.
Phillip Tanner, RB, Cowboys (10-15%)
With Felix Jones a little banged up after only one game, Tanner should be added and makes for a desperation start this week if Felix Jones still starts.
Ryan Broyles and Titus Young, WR, Lions (5-10%)
Nate Burleson broke his leg in Week 7 and opened the door for one of these young receivers to emerge. Young should slide into the starting role in Burleson’s place, but Broyles may have a better chance to contribute as a more refined receiver. Both guys are worth taking a chance on if you need a receiver to finish out the season, but I’d put my FAAB dollars down on Young first since he’s slotted to see the field more often.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers (5%)
If Stewart’s been dropped, it looks like he’s getting a chance to be the feature back for Carolina at long last. Might as well make sure you benefit if he finds a way to turn around the Panthers’ run game.
Santana Moss, WR, Redskins (<5%)
It looks like Moss is the playmaker RGIII needs while Garcon continues to recover from his mysterious foot injury. But there’s a lot of competition in the Redskins’ wide receiver corps. Moss isn’t worth spending a lot of money or waiver picks on acquiring. So don’t get too excited.
Montario Hardesty, RB, Browns (<5%)
Hardesty could be the lead back if the Browns decide to sit Trent Richardson as he nurses his rib injury. Hardesty should be stashed until we hear how the Browns will handle Richardson this week.
Donald Brown, RB, Colts (<5%)
Probably won’t return until Week 9, but you could stash him this week to guarantee you have him when he gets back on the field.
Jake Locker, QB, Titans (<5%)
Don’t forget that he was promising before his injury. He’s a nice safety QB2 with QB1 upside.
Peyton Hillis, RB, Chiefs (0%)
Hillis returned to practice this week and could resume his role as Jamaal Charles’ hammer and the Chiefs’ touchdown maker. Considering his failures before getting injured, he shouldn’t cost you anything to stash in case he returns from the bye with some value.
Shonn Greene. SHONN “Couldn’t get 5 yards if you spotted him 10″ GREENE.
When it comes to fantasy football, Shonn Greene is a ruiner. When you hand him the ball, he ruins any chance for a first down. But when you hand him the ball against the Colts, he ruins my week.
Greene did, of course, go off the one week I played his owner. And I didn’t even say anything bad about him this season. UNTIL NOW. He might not produce 30 or more points in his next seven games combined.
But enough grumbling. A few injuries have given us some decent pickups this week, and boy, do we ever need them with all the bye weeks in Week 7.
Where appropriate, I’ve added FAAB approximations beside each player for those of you dealing with a free agent acquisition budget.
Week 7 Pickups
Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys (25%)
DeMarco Murray will miss Week 7 and maybe longer (I think longer), which locks Jones in as a RB2 against the Panthers this week and makes him the No. 1 waiver claim.
Alex Green, RB, Packers (15-20%)
Green was surprisingly used as a workhorse against the Texans. Even though he didn’t do much with all his touches, he should continue to see the full workload, and that’ll make him a flex play at the very least most weeks if the Packers offense keeps rolling.
Montario Hardesty, RB, Browns (10-15%)
It doesn’t sound like Trent Richardson will miss any time, but if he did, Hardesty would feast on the Browns matchup against the Colts. You saw what it did for Shonn Greene.
William Powell, RB, Cardinals (10%)
LaRod Stephens-Howling started but let Powell do all the heavy lifting in Week 6. It looks like Powell’s the guy until Beanie Wells returns, but that Arizona offensive line isn’t doing him any favors.
Vick Ballard, RB, Colts (10%)
We’ll have to see what he can do when it’s not a blowout, but Ballard should remain the lead back in Indy until Brown returns. He may have better luck against the Browns this week.
Daryl Richardson, RB, Rams (10%)
A good chunk of his yardage in Week 6 came on one explosive play, but that’s exactly why the Rams are forcing Steven Jackson to share the load with Richardson. He should be owned by all SJax owners and warrants flex play consideration in the right matchup.
David Wilson, RB, Giants (10%)
Bradshaw’s not giving up many carries these days, but when he does, Wilson’s the guy. He should become a larger part of this offense as the year drags on if the Giants plan to keep Bradshaw healthy (or fail to keep him healthy).
Donnie Avery, WR, Colts (10%)
Lots of passes coming his way. Even if he hasn’t been able to do much with them every week, Avery should be owned.
Josh Gordon, WR, Browns (10%)
Gordon’s a little more high-upside than Avery since he’s proven he only needs a few targets to make a huge fantasy impact. We know the Browns will be down in games, and even if they’re not, it seems that Brandon Weeden likes going deep to Gordon. He makes for a high risk, high reward WR3 this week against the Colts.
Watch or Stash List
Stephen Hill, WR, Jets
A starter before his injury, Hill’s got a chance to become the Jets’ No. 1 target the rest of the way and caught a score in Week 6.
Mike Goodson, RB, Raiders
Even with limited touches, Goodson is making things happen. Darren McFadden owners might make sure they lock him up before someone else does.
Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens, WR, Rams
Both receivers are getting targets, but it’s just hard for me to trust any Rams’ receiver not named Amendola.
Phillip Tanner, RB, Cowboys
Tanner will see some touches while DeMarco Murray recovers, and Felix Jones isn’t the most durable back. Tanner could be the No. 1 add on the waiver wire next week if Jones were to get injured. I’m not so sure Murray will be back in Week 8 as he claims.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
I know, I know. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but shorty had a pretty nice game against the Patriots. The Seahawks just might be adapting their playbook to turn Wilson into a more reliable fantasy weapon.
The League returns to FX tonight at 10:30 p.m. EST. I’m going to try to once again recap each episode this season, but to get ready for the greatness that is The League, here’s a rundown of just a few of the guest appearances they have lined up for this season.
It took a little longer to get back in the swing of things after returning from Oktoberfest. It was a helluva trip. Lots of beer. Lots of sausage. In fact, I think sausage is a food group in Germany.
But on to this week’s pickups…
I’d be careful not to put too much stock this week’s free agents since most of them have little upside. It’s best to hold onto your FAAB for future weeks when a true star drops out of the heavens.
As always, FAAB speculations follow each of this week’s pickups.
Christian Ponder, QB, Vikings (10-15%)
If you need a bye week quarterback, Ponder is still safe bet.
Jahvid Best, RB, Lions (5%)
He’s testing to return to the field this week. Best to jump on him early before you have to pay a significant price, but keep in mind he could go straight to IR and never play in 2012. Best has the highest upside of all the players you can grab this week.
Brandon Bolden, RB, Patriots (<10%)
Bolden’s got flex appeal when the Patriots blow out their opponent, but, otherwise, he’s just Ridley insurance.
Alex Green, RB, Packers(<10%)
Green should be first in line to replace Cedric Benson’s touches in Green Bay, but don’t forget that James Starks is there as well.
LaRod Stephens-Howling + William Powell, RB, Cardinals (<10%)
William Powell has gotten some play in the Arizona backfield, but Stephens-Howling is the veteran and most explosive player the Cards now have in the mix. I’d try to get LaRod first, but Powell did have some impressive preseason performances.
Tim Tebow, QB, Jets (<5%)
Worth stashing as the Jets try and figure out how to run an offense.
Kendall Wright, WR, Titans (0%)
Wright is getting involved as we expected him to early in the year. Despite the Titans offense struggling mightily, there’s hope for him, especially once Jake Locker returns.
I’m taking the rest of Week 4 and Week 5 off to attend Oktoberfest in Germany. Unfortunately, that means I’m incommunicado until Week 6. You’ve got real refs now, what more do you want? Best of luck and Prost!
Unfortunately for us all, there isn’t too much on the wire unless you’re in a very shallow league. Leshoure is probably owned. Brown probably got snatched before his start Thursday night. That leaves slim pickings if you’re in need of a running back because the injuries don’t seem too severe to the starters who went down Week 3.
As always, my pickups are listed in the order I would go after them and with FAAB estimations.
Week 4 Pickups
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions (75%+)
If you waited this long, sorry. I talked about him before he hit the field. You’re going to have to luck out to land Leshoure, who looks to be the Lions’ preferred rusher. At least until Jahvid Best returns.
Andre Brown, RB, Giants (25%)
You probably missed your chance at him by now, but Brown could continue to see action even when Bradshaw returns from his injury.
Jerome Simpson, WR, Vikings (15% if need be) There’s a lot of hype around Simpson’s return from suspension this week with the Vikings offense moving the ball this year. I think you have to jump on him before he breaks out. He’s my top recommendation this week besides Leshoure.
Jake Locker, QB, Titans (10-15%)
This is the kind of potential we’ve been waiting to see. With Britt getting healthy (and MAYBE a running game showing up sometime soon), Locker should put together a nice season as a QB2 with QB1 upside.
Christian Ponder, QB, Vikings (10-15%)
To follow his new WR target, I’d offer up the Vikings QB, who looks good enough to enter QB1 territory these next few weeks. His schedule is excellent if you’re looking for bye week replacement help.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings (10%)
Rudolph caught two touchdowns this week, which probably serves as his coming out party, but Rudolph is worth owning in all leagues as we enter the byes. He’s a great target for Ponder near the redzone. And Simpson’s return should open up this offense, not take opportunities away.
Andrew Hawkins, WR, Bengals (5-10%)
The Hawk can play. I’m ready to grab him now, and you should, too. He’s shown he can produce with few targets. I expect inconsistency, but he’s solid enough to be rostered.
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons (<10%)
Stash him now before anyone else sees him. I’m high on Rodgers, and as a result, high on the demise of Michael Turner. Turner can’t even drive fast.
Donnie Avery, WR, Colts (5-10%)
Without Austin Collie for the rest of the year, Avery now gets my confidence.
Heath Miller, TE, Steelers (<5%)
He looks to be a lot more involved in the offense this year than years past. He’s worth acquiring as the reigning No. 3 fantasy tight end.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Redskins (<5%)
He’s secured a starting spot, even when Garcon returns. For now, he’s getting to run as the first read for Robert Griffin III. Just don’t do anything crazy like I did this weekend if you pick him up.
Ryan Williams, RB, Cardinals (15%)
I don’t love the Arizona running game, but Williams looks to be the best part of it.
Daniel Thomas, RB, Dolphins (10-15%)
Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins (5-10%)
The more explosive and dependable of the two Dolphins running backs, I think Miller can emerge if given the opportunity. Daniel Thomas will probably get more action, but he may be owned in most leagues.
Tashard Choice, RB, Bills (10%)
Whoever starts in Buffalo is going to rack up yards. They just run the ball well up there. But there is no guarantee Choice even gets this one start in Week 4 if Fred Jackson can get in a full week of practice. Be careful how much you bid on him here.
Shaun Hill, QB, Lions (<10% if you own Stafford)
If you’re in a very deep league and want to make sure you get points for the Lions’ passing game, you might need Hill to play safe with Stafford’s injury. But it sounds as if Stafford could make the start Week 4 if the team lets him.
I’m not yet ready to bite on Nate Burleson (maybe in PPR), Brandon Stokley, Jacoby Jones, or T.Y. Hilton, but they may be worthy stashes if you have the roster room. Cecil Shorts is hard to buy as long as he’s still in Jacksonville.
Brandon Myers and Jordan Cameron look like they can ball, but the tight end position is DEEP this season.
I’m not sure what to think of Ronnie Hillman or Lance Ball just yet if McGahee sits out Week 4, but I think I’d rather stash Ball if I’m a McGahee owner.
Don’t forget about Bilal Powell just yet, but I don’t think it’s an emergency that you get him on your roster. Especially not when he faces the 49ers this week.
Austin Collie (sadly), Stephen Hill, and Greg Little are all droppable if you have a more promising guy on the waiver wire. David Wilson is bordering on droppable territory, but we’ll have to see how he’s used once Ahmad Bradshaw returns to the field.
So thishappened. In case you somehow haven’t heard already, the replacement refs blew the call at the end of Monday Night Football by awarding a touchdown to Golden Tate in place of a Green Bay interception. Even Jon Gruden’s disgusted.
The play in question (or is it still in question?), courtesy of KSK:
And the player reactions rolled in all night long.
WARNING: Some NSFW. Especially T.J. Lang. Work is NOT a place for T.J. Lang tweets.
And thanks to BeyondTheBets.com, we get to see inside the sportsbooks as the final play went down. So much celebration…so many broken dreams.
The NFL probably had no idea what to do with all the angry tweets, but they might have tried to get in on the conversation without thinking it through. Twitter followers captured this retweet from the official NFL Twitter account mocking the officiating.