Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fantasy Football Free Agent Picks ups

Deep Threats
Advice for those of you without rosters resembling a Pro Bowl team

These start suggestions and free-agent pickups are recommendations for leagues that feature a minimum of 12 teams. While it would have been nice to “pick-up” Jordan Cameron last week, some of you (me) actually drafted him and thus should not be ridiculed with suggestions of using him as a “nice replacement” for Greg Olsen during his bye. Each week, should this column be appreciated, I will highlight a player at each position that is owned in under 35% of yahoo leagues that should be owned by you. I will also pick one player that I believe will score more than 12 pts in standard fantasy scoring and help you win your week. Feel free to chastise, castigate, berate or otherwise “diss and zing” my choices by screaming at me on twitter @CamDorrett.

WR: Santana Moss – Owned in 21% of Yahoo Leagues.
  • I know, I know, the man is 34 years old and about as strong and tall as a blade of grass. That being said, he was in the Pro Bowl! Yes, it was 2005, but some of that athleticism/savvy-veteran-trickery has to be left in the tank…right? His highness Robert Griffin the 3rd targeted him 9 times last week. This week he gets to face the Oakland Raiders, a team that missed 19 tackles last week and employs a Grade 8 gym class as a secondary. Moss may not have significant value going forward, but is a nice play in the first bye-week of the season. Don’t be afraid to run him out there if you need help in the WR3 spot, after all, someone has to catch the balls RG3 throws…here’s to hoping it’s not the other team.

RB: Ronnie Hillman – Owned in 21% of Yahoo Leagues
  • The oft-forgot 3rd head of Denver’s ugly RBBC (running back by committee), Mr. Hillman refuses to be forgotten by his coaches. While reports of his touchdown run against the Raiders suggest he won it “fair-and-square” with a game of rock,paper,scissors against his teammates, video footage suggests Hillman went with the always trusted rock and actually beat Moreno. Don’t be fooled, it was always the plan to give Hillman the carry. Denver faces a Saints team that has vastly improved their passing defense, thus creating more opportunities for Hillman to prove his worth. Look for him to get another sneaky vulture touchdown, whether he wins a game of I Spy on the sidelines or not.
TE: Coby Fleener – Owned in 30% of Yahoo Leagues
    While some of you may already own Andrew Luck’s favorite target in college, many of you may be having ideas of sitting him this week. Unless you own one of the more consistent tight ends in the league, I would start the 6’6, 250 lb Stanford-record-setting-18-touchdown-monster over the likes of Kyle Rudolph, Jermaine Gresham, Brandon Myers and Fred Davis to name a few this week. He gets to play the Jacksonville Meerkats, a defense that allowed Seattle’s tight ends (who?) to rack up 112 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. With nagging injuries to the likes of T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey, look for Fleener to hook up with his college drinking buddy at least once in the paydirt this weekend.

QB: Terrelle Pryor – Owned in 23% of Yahoo Leagues.
    Quick! Who has more points this season at Quarterback? Tony Romo or Terrelle Pryor? Ok fine, Tony Romo….by 0.5-3 points! (depending on how your league scores).  That’s not a typo. Once again, while many of you savvy owners may have already picked up “King Pryor” (Pennsylvania’s nickname, not mine) many of you may again leave him on your bench this week. This will be a mistake. Pryor is facing a Washington flag-football defense that cannot stop the ball in the air, or ground, let alone a player that is dangerous at doing both. If Oakland falls behind early…which they will, look for Pryor to do the majority of his damage in the second half. Oh, and if you’re bored and aren’t convinced, here’s a video of Jon Gruden saying weird stuff to him, courtesy of deadspin:

DEF: Tennesee/Indianapolis  - Both Owned in 32% of Yahoo Leagues.
    For those of you who like to plug and play your defenses because you’re letting Shane Vereen and Michael Crabtree play Go Fish! in two of your roster spots, let these defenses carry you to… a slightly above average point total. They both have excellent matchups (TEN v NYJ and IND v JAX) and have proved that they are teams that can win with their defense. I could impress you with their combined takeaways (10), and sacks (18), or simply refer to the fact that again…they are playing competition better reserved for the CFL. Do not hesitate to walk these guys down the runway, and hold on to them for a week or two.

My Brian Hartline pick of the week. Each week I will suggest a player that once again is owned in under 35% of Yahoo Leagues who I predict will help their owners win by scoring at least 12 points. Is it unfair to name this section the Brian Hartline section? Probably, but let me know if you truly envisioned “Brian Goaline” being the 41st ranked fantasy player amongst all eligible offense this season….

Drumroll Please….

Cordarelle Patterson! The man with “video-game” talent already has a beautiful return touchdown and can no longer be ignored by the infamous Bill Musgrave, a man who threw more interceptions (2) than touchdowns (1) during his illustrious NFL career. The ball will find its way into Patterson’s hands this weekend, and regardless of how good the Bear’s defense is at generating fumbles, who is going to catch a man that ran a 10.54!!!!! in the 1000 meter dash if he finds a hole? I predict 13.68 points for Patterson this weekend, for no reason whatsoever.

Good luck this week, and if you have any questions, or simply want to harass me, find me on twitter at @CamDorrett.

Fanatsy Football Week 4 Rankings

 By Michael H. Osinski

 Trends emerge every season. I start looking at potential changes in my three teams lineups Sunday night. I don't pull any triggers until Tuesday, but I like to have more time to let the days games "flow over me" and have the thoughts marinate a couple days.

Nowhere in fantasy is their more overreaction than at the qb position. Bench Tom Brady! Play Sam Bradford! Should I drop RG 0 and 3 for Terrelle Pryor? Even this season when the pre-draft mantra was "Wait for a's way to deep to leap", your qb is still the most important spot on your roster. Why? Bigger numbers and the fact there is only 1.If one of your rbs or wrs has a less than par day, one of the others can pick up slack. But if Kaep lays an eggs vs. Indy, you lose most of the time.
The top 10 or so guys are generally the same week in week out. Match ups and other circumstances usually dictate the order. I rarely carry 2 qbs because I don't want to waste the roster spot until a week or 2 before the bye week. I have Vick in 2 league so I have no worries (outside of injury risk) until week 10 or so. Tannehill or Bradford will likely be available.

1. Peyton Manning(DEN): Until he shows otherwise, this is his spot. PHI won't challenge him any more than OAK did.
2. Tony Romo(DAL): Ask Schaub, Vick and Locker.
3. Drew Brees(NO): 8 straight 300-yd games. Make it 9!
4. Matt Stafford(DET): Big Ben had 400. And, DET throws more than just about anyone.
5. MikeVick(PHI): He is #2 in yds, has 180 yds rushing.
6. Matt Ryan(ATL): NE has put up good defense number...against NYJ, BUF and TB. Too bad Glennon didn't start last week (all rookie qbs).
7. Tom Brady(NE): Sunday night game is going to be fun, fun, fun.
8. RGIII(WASH): Were you watching OAK Monday night?
9. Russell Wilson(SEA): Efficient, even in less than par weeks.
10. Andrew Luck(IND): Not passing as much, but he draws JAX.
11. Colin Kaepernick(SF): Slumping a bit, but I think he starts running a bit more Thursday night.
12. Ben Roethlisberger(PIT): With that running game, he will have to pass.
13. Phil Rivers(SD): He will spend too much time on his back to keep up this hot streak.
14. Jay Cutler(CHI): I am beginning to believe.
15. Terrelle Pryor(OAK): Assuming his head is good, WASH defense has plenty of holes.

Just missed: Taqnnehill, Bradford, A.Smith

Running backs are driving everyone crazy this season. Ridley, Spiller, D.Wilson (and that's just my team!) Matt Forte gets goal-line carries the first two games, then OV (Original Vulture) Mike Bush has the coach give them to him. Beastmode hasn't been. The law firm has a new partner. TRich traded? Willis McGahee exumed? And what's up with Arian Foster? What exactly is a "Joique?"
Since most players anchor their team with early rb picks in the draft, a lot of teams that looked good after the draft are scrambling to pick up Bilal Powell and Jacquizz Rodgers. I am staying patient with my guys, though I am toying with the idea of playing Fred Jackson this week.

1. Jamaal Charles(KC): Even if the NYG wake up this week, JC gets his. And, Reid is using him a lot in the passing game.
2. Adrian Peterson(MIN): I know the stats after that first run this season. I also know last season he got better and better as season went on.
3. Alfred Morris(WASH): He'll get carries this week. Wash won't fall way behind early this week.
4. Doug Martin(TB): Glennon's new best friend.
5. LeSean McCoy(PHI): I'm not ranking him lower than 5 any week I can think of.
6. Darren McFadden(OAK): Bounces back nicely vs. bad WASH defense.
7. Matt Forte(CHI): Even without goal-line carries...
8. Bilal Powell(NYJ): He's gonna get 20-25 carries again.
9. Marshawn Lynch(SEA): This low just because it's HOU.
10. CJ Spiller(BUF): The explosion is coming.
11. Arian Foster(HOU): Only because it is SEA.
12. Reggie Bush(DET): Says he is healthy, but Joique is going to cut into his catches a bit.
13. Ray Rice(BAL): This assumes he is healthy enough to play.
14. Frank Gore(SF): This assumes he gets more than 11 carries.
15. Lamar Miller(MIA): Just a hunch.
16. Darren Sproles(NO): With Ingram hurt, he may see more carries.
17. Stevan Ridley(NE): Gronk back will keep linebackers out of his running lanes.
18. Knowshon Moreno(DEN): Someone has got to teach him how to play rock-paper-scissors.
19. Chris Johnson(TEN): NYJ good vs. run, but he is getting over 20 carries a game.
20. Trent Richarson(IND): He will move up next week when he has the offense down.
21. Ahmad Bradshaw(IND): He will move down next week when TRich learns offense.
22. Maurice Jones-Drew(JAX): As good as Indy was last week, Gore still did well with his carries.
23. Jason Snelling(ATL): SJax not back for a couple weeks.
24. Giovani Bernard(CIN): The law firm shares carries,but I like this guy.
25. Ryan Mathews(SD): He just seems better than Jacquizz, Joique, DRich, Pierce

Just missed: The guys listed with Mathewss plus Mendenhall and Fred Jackson.

WR is where all the fun has been. They yell at coach and get fed (Wallace, Brown). Julio Jones is on pace for 1,800 yards. Wes Welker has 4 tds. Of course there are some headscratchers (Bowe, Nicks). The NFL is a passing league and this is definitely the year the fantasy landscape is slanting. Next year's draft will have a whole lot more teams going WR-WR instead of RB-RB.

1. Dez Bryant(DAL): Same reason Romo is so high on qb list.
2. Julio Jones(ATL): Up here from about 5 because of Roddy White's ankle.
3. Demaryius Thomas(DEN): Eagles defense. Check. Peyton Manning. Check. 120 yards and a score or 2. Check.
4. Pierre Garcon(WASH): He's playing OAK.
5. AJ Green(CIN): CLE not a bad defense, but this is AJ Green.
6. Calvin Johnson(DET): Only because I think the guys above are all going to have monster games. And, Broyles is gonna get a look.
7. Wes Welker(DEN): Looks to be getting along with Peyton just fine.
8. Brandon Marshall(CHI): Needs a bounceback game.
9. DeSean Jackson(PHI): A slight downgrade playing DEN.
10. Victor Cruz(NYG): He is too good to be down too long.
11. Antonio Brown(PIT): Not like last week, but still good.
12. Josh Gordon(CLE): If they are really shopping him, he'll see a lot of targets.
13. Reggie Wayne(IND): It's JAX.
14. Torrey Smith(BAL): Quietly on pace for over 1,400 yards.
15. Andre Johnson(HOU): Assumes his wheels are good.
16. Anquan Boldin(SF): Kaep'smost reliable wr.
17. Larry Fitzgerald(ARZ): Seems low, but team is having trouble with pass protection.
18. Marques Colston(NO): Figures to be a fun game.
19. Stevie Johnson(BUF): EJ finding him often.
20. Eric Decker(DEN): 3 guys in the top 20. Wow.
21. Dwayne Bowe(KC): Falling until Alex throws downfield.
22. Cecil Shorts(JAX): Garbage time stats don't carry an asterisk.
23. Mike Wallace(MIA): Erratic, but can stretch the field.
24. TY Hilton(IND): Doesn't seem high given his big play ability and opponent.
25. Danny Amendola(NE): Would be higher if 100%, but he's been in full pads this week.
26. Vincent Jackson(TB): Falls a little with a rookie at the wheel.
27. Roddy White(ATL): He'll be back, but for now, he's here.
28. Hakeen Nicks(NYG): Ditto.
29. Chris Givens(STL): I feel a big game coming on.
30. Brian Hartline(MIA): Unsexy, but productive.

Just missed: S.Hill, Thompkins, Streater or D.Moore

Another part of the change in the fantasy landscape is the influx of new blood in the te position. In August it looked like a wasteland. Now, we are talking about the depth at the position in a manner similar to qb last year when the rookies all became viable plays. And, this week marks the return of Gronk.

1. Jimmy Graham(NO): Healthy again and on fire.
2. Rob Gronkowski(NE): He may still score 12 tds.
3. Julius Thomas(DEN): Some of the new blood. I was lucky, adding him 45 minutes before the season opener.
4. Jordan Cameron(CLE): More new blood. Not likely to see 3 tds again, but he gets targets.
5. Martellus Bennett(CHI): Throw last week out. The "Black Unicorn" scores again this week.
6. Jason Witten(DAL): You see Delanie Walker last week vs. SD? Witten is way better.
7. Vernon Davis(SF): This assumes he is healthy.
8. Coby Fleener(IND): JAX is good for everyone playing them
9. Heath Miller(PIT): Ben's security blanket is back.
10. Tony Gonzalez(ATL): Am I the only thinking he got 5 years older during the off-season?
11. Jared Cook(STL): Which one shows up this week?
12. Antonio Gates(SD): And he looks a couple years younger.
13. Brandon Myers(NYG): So slow, but has su7re hands.
14. Owen Daniels(HOU): Draws SEA. Sorry.
15. Jordan Reed(WASH): Looks like their te option going forward

Just missed: Clay, Chandler, Gresham

Obviously, your mileage may vary. Hopefully, you make good choices based on solid data. Or, just throw darts.

I spend a lot of time on defenses. I stream a new one each week. Mostly it works for me. Last season first look was always "who is playing KC?" This year I am always quick to see who JAX is playing, who Oakland is playing, who Seattle is playing, etc. Chicago obviously is always a good play, but you and I both know they are usually owned by as early as round 10 in a 12-team standard league.
That being said, here are your best plays on defense:

1. DEN: they get turnovers and PHI gives them. The game may go 34-27, but PHI figures to be good for 3 TOs (Bad for me...I own Vick in 2 leagues)
2. IND: they manhandled SF and they get JAX this week. And, with that running game, JAX may only get the ball for 20 minutes.
3. CHI: I may pencil them in at 3 every week just because of who they are. And, DET throws the ball around enough for 2-3 picks.
4. KC: I'm a bit scared of this one as who knows when NYG wake up, but KC has throttled DAL&PHI after drawing JAX week 1.
5. CIN: Solid anyway(they made Rodgers look pedestrian)...but they draw Brian "3 Picks" Hoyer.
6. ARZ: Had them lower originally, but with Glennon starting, they should look good. Peterson and The Honey Badger want to play Thursday they are so excited.
7. SEA: They are going to be top 10 every week...
8. NYJ: Don't get excited about Locker, SD secondary has been drilled 3 weeks running...
9. PIT: Just remember, Ponder is still QB. Even with his high score last week, he did not throw a TD pass.
10. MIN: Unless Bell is better than advertised, Big Ben will have to throw til he pukes...and 2-3 of those will be caught by guys in purple.
11. SF: Not so great against the run, but neither DRich or IP scares me. And the Rams are having trouble protecting Sam.
12. BAL: They get a rookie QB...enough said.
13. TEN: Ditto.
14. TB: Pretty good so far and ARZ having pass protection issues
15. STL: SF having issues on offense.

I stream a place kicker each week as well. I don't draft him until the last round. I did play Lawrence Tynes 5 times last season...but I generally play roulette. So, the first 6-7 guys here on the list are usually not available for me. That being said, a team in my league of record lost by 3 points because of Matt Prater's big Monday night. But then again, I lost by 15 and my kicker of the week (Zuerlein) had 1 point. I'm not using him this week. Ok...cuz I gotta pick someone...

1. Matt Prater(DEN)
2. Stephen Gostkowski(NE)
3. Sebastian Janikowski(OAK)
4. Garrett Hartley(NO)
5. Ryan Succop(KC)
6. Blair Walsh(MIN)
7. Robbie Gould(CHI)
8. Steven Haushka(SEA)
9. Adam Vinateri(IND)
10. Dan Bailey(DAL)
11. David Akers(DET)
12. Caleb Sturgis(MIA)
13. Nick Novak(SD)
14. Justin Tucker(BAL)
15. Greg Zuerlein(STL)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bye Weeks...or Separating The Men From Boys

By Michael H. Osinski
Lots of theories on bye weeks. Some so-called smart players draft players all with the same bye in an effort to punt one week. Some (like me) draft with an aversion to key players with the same bye. Others just assume waiver wire and trades will cover the duplicate byes.
The answer is that there is no answer. Winning requires you to assess what you have and what is available, and then processing the information and executing in a manner that allows you to avoid problems and hopefully improve your team.
Week 4 is also about the time teams begin to panic. Just don't overreact.
Not everyone drafted 2 qbs (In 2 of my 3 leagues I only took 1). But, if you have Rodgers or Newton this week, you need a fill in. If they are not owned, take a look at these guys:
Ryan Tannehill. Funny how Miami was made fun of for trading up and taking him in the top half of the first round even though he was a converted wr. He throws a good ball and if he can learn to take care of the ball better (5 fumbles) he can become a qb1(in a 12-team league).
Geno Smith. Yeah, I am out on a limb a little here. But, he throws the deep ball and made Holmes and Hill look good against the Bills. The picks are a concern, but his mobility and rushing yards will probably counter that.
Phil Rivers. He is owned in 2 of the 3 leagues I play in, but I was surprised at how low his ownership % is.  I wouldn't carry him on my roster because of his turnover history, but if you get a good match up, I'd roll the dice on him for a one week cameo.
Most players have a substitute on the roster. Sometimes those guys are driving you nuts. (I have Spiller, Ridley, David Wilson in all 3 leagues). I am exercising patience. You don't have to.
Bilal Powell. He's owned in 1 of my 3 leagues. Chris Ivory is out for what might be 4 weeks. He looked good against Buffalo (not a bad def). The Jets love having a power run game. He will get 20+ carries.
Brandon Bolden. Shane Vereen won't be back until week 11. This guy's performance against TB looked a lot like a Shane Vereen outing. Buy!
Isaiah Pead. I never quite liked DRich. Now I have a real reason. He's been walking around in a boot for more than a week and played 2 snaps last week against the Cowboys before taking a seat next to the Gatorade bucket. Pead has more skill anyway.
WR is another of those spots you probably drafted subs. I know I move mine around based on circumstance (I added Marlon Brown a couple weeks ago).
Marlon Brown. Not owned much and he gets the Bills this week, and while Jacoby Jones rides party buses this guy is taking his job. He's big (6-5), long and a perfect complement to Torrey Smith.
Stephan Hill. Similar to my theory on Phil Rivers. The occasional big game. Just watch the match up. We know Geno is gonna throw deep.
Robert Woods. Owned in 1 of my leagues. People pay more attention to Stevie Johnson. This guy looked good against a pretty good Jets team. Worth a look.
I only draft one TE. Usually. In one of my three leagues I lucked into Julius Thomas and Martellus Bennett. Few will be that lucky, but there are a few bye week replacements out there.
Zach Miller. Rarely owned. The 2-td performance Sunday may open a few eyes, but a steady performer.
Rob Housler. He was hurt early so he may have been forgotten. Carson Palmer has a history of checking down to TEs (Brandon Myers, Jermaine Gresham). You could do a lot worse.
Delanie Walker. Before I watched him Sunday against the Chargers, I wouldn't have put him here. But, Locker finds him...and as Locker grows as a qb, Walker will grow as a te.
A couple guys in one of my experienced (10 yrs) league draft 2 defenses. I don't get it. Seems like a wasted roster spot. I take the opposite approach and stream a defense each week. Not sure who is right. I have won championships streaming defenses. Guys I know have won drafting 2. Your mileage will vary.
Kansas City. Hot, hot hot. Slowed down Dallas and Philly. Had four pro-bowlers last year. They get an imploding Giants team Sunday. What's not to like?
Indiannapolis. They manhandled SF Sunday...and they get Jacksonville this week. (This is who I made my waiver claim on)
I usually stream kickers too. I look at match ups. I didn't stream last week, actually using a kicker two weeks in a row for the first time since 2009 and it burned me. (Zuerlein got 1!)
Caleb Sturgis, Steve Hauschka, and Shaun Suisham. (Not spending much time talking about kickers).
The key to surviving the bye weeks is to keep your eyes open and your trigger finger ready. Just hit send.