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.
There are two schools of thought around whether I was stupid or gutsy this weekend. Regardless, I was certainly LOFTY. On one side, you have the more traditional view that you should “never sit your studs,” a stance I’ve taken in the past.
And the other side of the argument is the “play the matchups” contingent, the ones who throw statistics at you to convince you it’s time to let your hot player ride the bench.
I played the matchups this weekend, and it came back to bite me. Oh, did it bite.
To my credit, Leonard Hankerson was slotted to start in place of Pierre Garcon. As the X receiver, he should have been Robert Griffin III’s first read on most plays, and I expected to see him go off against a woeful Bengals defense.
Instead, I got 56 receiving yards, good for 5.6 points. You could say that’s not bad for a flex play, but when the player that would have started in his place in Larry Fitzgerald…
Facing a pretty terrible matchup against the sometimes challenging Eagles secondary, Fitzgerald was dangerous with Kevin Kolb under center. Kolb hasn’t exactly looks Fitzgerald’s way, and though they said they’d try to get Fitz the ball, I didn’t think Kolb would make it happen this week.
But he did.
Fitzgerald racked up 114 yards against the Eagles and made it into the end zone to reward his owners for the first time this season. I missed it because, ironically, I was desperate for a win and looking for points wherever I could get them.
What We Should Learn From This
Start your studs. Play your matchups. The choice is yours. But the lesson I learned in Week 3 (again) is to never sit a stud for a longshot play.
Aaron Hernandez owners may still crying after seeing him go back to the locker room without putting any points on the board. Of all the less serious injuries, Ahmad Bradshaw’s neck injury seems to be the only one that hasn’t been clarified since the games were played.
But let’s not dwell on the negative. I did that already this week.
Let’s get better. Say it together…WITH FEELING!
Just like last week, these are presented in the order I’d go after them. Dollar dollar bill FAAB suggestions are also listed beside each player.
Week 3 Pickups
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions (<5%)
If no one owns him yet, you should be able to pick him up on the cheap. Kevin Smith doesn’t have the full confidence of this team. That much we could see as the Lions went with Joique Bell on several touches in Week 2. There’s a good chance Leshoure returns in Week 3 and makes this job all his own, and Lions RBs are good for fantasy points.
Andre Brown, RB, Giants (10%) When Ahmad Bradshaw went down, we all expected to see David Wilson. Instead, we got Brown as the workhorse back, and he performed well. He’ll be the RB to own if Bradshaw misses any time this week and probably keeps a good portion of the work if Bradshaw misses additional time. Wilson’s got some work to do to get himself out of the doghouse.
Martellus Bennett, TE, Giants (5%)
Bennett has quickly become the third option in this Giants’ offense and one of the top tight end options through the first two weeks. Make sure he’s not in the pool, especially if you’re sitting on a lesser option like Fred Davis.
Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens (5%)
He’s getting a ton of looks in this offense. While some of it may be game plan, two weeks is enough to notice the trend, which makes him worth a grab. The rumor is that he’s Flacco’s best friend on the team, and you know how that works out for tight ends. *COUGH* Witten *COUGH* I’d look to fill your Aaron Hernandez hole with Pitta or Bennett this week.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings (<5%)
You’re still letting this guy sit on the waiver wire? He’s on the radar after scoring this week, and I expect his big breakout game to happen sooner rather than later.
Greg Little, WR, Browns (0%)
He lives. But the Browns aren’t going to be producing like this week to week. Still, if you’re looking for a WR3 with potential, he’s worth stashing in all leagues for bye weeks and potential garbage time production.
Brent Celek, TE, Eagles (0%)
Celek might not have as high a ceiling as the tight ends listed above, but he still might be an upgrade for Fred Davis owners/sufferers.
Bilal Powell, RB, Jets (0%) Powell has been on my watch list all season. When Shonn Greene went out of the game, he took the carries and did more with them. Powell’s worth stashing as we wait for the Jets to look past Greene on the depth chart for something with a little more punch.
Daryl Richardson, RB, Rams (0%)
When Jackson didn’t return after his ball-spiking penalty in the second quarter, we all thought he was being punished. Turns out, it was only his fantasy owners getting the punishment as Jackson suffered a groin injury that prevented him from reentering the game. It was Richardson, not Isaiah Pead, who took over the game for the Rams when Steven Jackson went down. We can safely say that Richardson is the handcuff for Jackson, and he’ll be the RB to own if Jackson can’t go in Week 3. For now, all signs point to Jackson being back in the lineup Week 3, which makes Richardson just a stash.
Sam Bradford, QB, Rams (0%)
So maybe the Rams aren’t so terrible? I’m undecided, but Bradford certainly had good numbers against the Redskins. Washington suffered several injuries on the defensive side of the ball in this one, which took some pressure off of the Rams offensive line that needed the help. In short, swap your backup QB out for Bradford if you’re worried about your current guy.
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals (0%)
I know he had a good showing against the Browns, but I just don’t think Dalton is dependable as anything more than a QB2. That said, you might look to Dalton during the bye weeks if your QB2 isn’t looking so hot.
Andrew Hawkins, WR, Bengals
The shifty wide receiver has made his mark two weeks in a row now. He’s worth keeping on your radar as a potential WR3, and he is worth stashing if you’re in a PPR league.
Jackie Battle, RB, Chargers
I see Battle’s stats from this week as a flash in the pan just before the return of Ryan Mathews. When Mathews takes the field, I don’t think we’ll see Battle get this many touches. His usage in Week 2 is probably a result of how little Ronnie Brown has left in the tank. If Mathews doesn’t return in Week 3 or goes down with another injury, keep your eye on Battle.
I’d like to try something a little different here at Fantasy Football Fools.
I give you a lot of advice, good and bad, throughout the season, but what about all the anger management we have to endure? Injuries. Benchings. When your team leaves you hanging Sunday, there’s got to be some good way to vent.
For that, I’d like to bring you Monday Morning Therapy — conveniently published on Tuesday this time around…but maybe we’ll get better at that.
Let me know what you think and join in on the comments. If you like this feature, I’ll try to keep it going throughout the season.
Chris Johnson. There’s a good place to start (or not start, many Johnson owners might say). Can anyone find Chris Johnson’s fantasy points? I think we lost them back in 2010. He’s jumpy behind the line and has nowhere to go. I’m starting to feel like he’s a dud again this season.
While we’re on the subject of Johnsons, Andre had a pretty terrible game as well, but when you play the Jaguars and have Arian Foster and Ben Tate to feed, there’s not really any reason to throw the ball. I can understand that, but can A.J.’s fantasy owners?
After a brilliant Week 1, Tony Romo looked pretty much just like this in Week 2. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Steven Jackson is a beast, but beasts run so hard that they injure their own groin. That groin prevented him from getting into the end zone from the 1 in the second quarter Sunday. And after that disappointment and the thunder spike that got him penalized, Jackson couldn’t get back into the game. In his stead, Daryl Richardson ran for 83 yards with 19 yards receiving.
THOSE ARE JACKSON’S POINTS. What would have put Jackson up for a 10+ fantasy day instead becomes waiver wire fodder that probably won’t pan out any other week this season.
Meanwhile, Jackson’s younger counterpart in running-back-on-a-terrible-team purgatory did this. I’m going to regret drafting Jackson, aren’t I?
Larry Fitzgerald hasn’t impressed so far this year, and it made sense with Skelton going down in Week 1 and Kolb returning to center without the reps. But in Week 2, we expected Fitz to produce against the Patriots. At least for more than his 1 catch for 4 yards in a historically bad Fitzgerald performance.