Wednesday, October 23, 2013


By Michael H. Osinski
Right after this season's draft, owners were sitting around trash-talking. One owner piped in, "Look at Week 8 and Week 9 byes! Rough." Owners started going through their new rosters. The luster an owner sees in his newly drafted roster was already eroding. Poor guy who has a bunch of Broncos and 49ers Week 9. Another guy had Colts and Texans Week 8...and then had Richardson sent to Indy. It put an immediate damper on an entertaining draft.
Then, last Sunday, it was a very bloody Sunday. Big players going down. Some for the season.
In this week's Roster Management column, we did what we could to identify waiver wire pickups to cover byes and injured players. We found it wasn't easy because of the combination of injuries and a 6-team bye week. We found ourselves recommending guys that at the beginning of the season we didn't give a second thought. Come on, who drafted Mike James or Jarrett Boykin?
The other way to combat those problems are to have a better sense of matchups, new opportunities and which players are getting hot. Play a couple hot ones over someone with a poor matchup, and maybe you steal a victory or 2 during the heavier bye weeks and land in the playoffs.
So with that in mind, hopefully we rank well...
Of the guys who didn't get hurt last week, we really didn't whiff on anyone except Brady. That seems to be happening more often these days (Buy low?) Romo just didn't have TDs. The yards were there. And, we were a little surprised by Alex Smith as he had put up single digits 3 of 4 weeks.
1. Peyton Manning (DEN): He's already a high rank. Now he gets a Skins team that made Josh McCown look good.
2. Matt Stafford (DET): Last week notwithstanding, teams have passed well against Dallas.
3. RGIII (WSH) : Denver hasn't stopped many teams and RGIII is heating up.
4. Mike Vick (PHI): Might run less and pass more vs. a team only Josh Freeman couldn't solve.
5. Drew Brees (NO): Mario Williams keeps winning DPOW, but teams keep throwing TD passes.
6. Colin Kaepernick (SF): Only this low because they figure to run whenever they want.
7. Aaron Rodgers (GB): Minny near the bottom vs. the pass.
8. Tony Romo (DAL): The Lions play an awful lot of shootouts.
9. Matt Ryan (ATL): No Julio, no Roddy, no problem.
10. Russell Wilson (SEA): It's on the road, but besides the Houston game, he's been pretty good.
11. Eli Manning (NYG): Philly scores so fast, you get extra chances.
12. Cam Newton (CAR): I'm counting on a decent bit of running points here.
Just out: Tom Brady (NE)...feels funny putting him here; Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) vs. OAK; Carson Palmer (ARZ)...not a typo!
Neutral: Ryan Tannehill (MIA); Andy Dalton (CIN); Terrelle Pryor (OAK)...all should have no better than average days.
Stay away: Josh Freeman (MIN) so he had a concussion! That explains a lot; Mike Glennon (TB); Jason Campbell (CLE)...The Cleveland Plain Dealer is already crafting his obituary.
What happened to McCoy? Getting used to whiffing on Trent Richardson and CJ Spiller.
1. LeSean McCoy (PHI): NYG only stopped AP because they knew Freeman couldn't throw. Vick can.
2. Frank Gore (SF): He is better than Mathews and Woodhead.
3. Marshawn Lynch (SEA): He is on a pretty good roll.
4. Jamaal Charles (KC): He's pretty much matchup proof these days. Leads the team in targets as well.
5. Knowshon Moreno (DEN): Forte put up around 100 and 3 TDs on Skins.
6. Eddie Lacy (GB): Because he is better than Peyton Hillis.
7. Adrian Peterson (MIN): They have got to fix the passing game a little.
8. Alfred Morris (WSH): Denver can be run on.
9. Reggie Bush (DET): The Lions score a lot of points and Bush is a big part of it.
10. Stevan Ridley (NE): Can't figure out the workload, but he is gaining momentum anyway.
11. Fred Jackson (BUF): This assumes Spiller sits and rests his ankle this week.
12. Darren McFadden (OAK): Not convinced by Steelers yet.
13. Darren Sproles (NO): I expect lots of screens/checkdowns to beat Mario and the front line.
14. Le'Veon Bell (PIT): He isn't too bad.
15. DeAngelo Williams (CAR): This assumes Stewart doesn't start getting carried until next week.
16. Chris Ivory (NYJ): Last week was what we thought we'd get from him. Get used to it.
17. Giovani Bernard (CIN): NYJ pretty good vs. the run.
18. SJax/Quizz (ATL): one or both will land about here.
19. Pierre Thomas (NO): Quietly putting up good numbers without worrying about Ingram.
20. Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX): They'll get behind and have to pass, so this might be optimistic.
21. Roy Helu (WSH): 12-14 touches in the "Turbo" package.
22. Joseph Randle (DAL): Splits more with Dunbar this week.
23. Lamar Miller (MIA): I remain optimistic.
24. Zac Stacy (STL): Gonna get carries, but he faces SEA>
25. Andre Ellington (ARZ): ATL defense banged up a bit.
Just out: BJGE (CIN); Mike James (TB); Brandon Bolden (NE)
Stay away: Any of NYG; Any CLE; Any DAL RB not Randle
We whiffed on Blackmon and D. Thomas last week. Nicks/Cruz too. We were not as optimistic about VJax as we could've been. On the other hand, we knew not to play LFitz and Harry Douglas.
Not sure what to do with Harvin yet, so we are leaving him out.
1. Calvin Johnson (DET): Back where he belongs.
2. Dez Bryant (DAL): I expect a shootout in this game, with Dez just about matching Megatron.
3. Wes Welker (DEN): Another shootout.
4. Pierre Garcon (WSH): Both teams are going to score...a lot.
5. Jordy Nelson(GB): #1 target before Finley goes out.
6. Demaryious Thomas (DEN): He will surface this week.
7. AJ Green (CIN): They won't be able to run so well.
8. Justin Blackmon (JAX): Expect them to be playing from behind a lot.
9. DeSean Jackson (PHI): The Giants didn't stop him last time.
10. Victor Cruz (NYG): Lots of shootouts coming this week.
11. Vincent Jackson (TB): Carolina is a better defense.
12. Antonio Brown (PIT): Oakland can be thrown on and he will get the lion's share of targets.
13. Larry Fitzgerald (ARZ): Better matchup than last week.
14. Steve Smith (CAR): TDs in 2 straight games. He is finally coming around.
15. Harry Douglas (ATL): Maybe not a repeat, but will still get 10 or more targets.
16. Eric Decker (DEN): 3 in the top 16!
17. Stevie Johnson (BUF): Haven't had him this high in a bit.
18. Marques Colston (NO): Likely will be good coming out of the bye.
19. Jarrett Boykin (GB): This assumes Jones is limited.
20. Julian Edelman (NE): This assumes Amendola out 1 more week.
21. Josh Gordon (CLE): KC will keep his numbers down.
22. Cecil Shorts (JAX): Again, playing from behind, and he is a week healthier.
23. Anquan Boldin (SF): SF won't have to throw much later in the game.
24. Terrance Williams (DAL): His streak is making people forget Austin.
25. Hakeem Nicks (NYG): Lots of TDs to spread around here.
26. Jeremy Kerley (NYJ): Geno is finding him pretty regularly.
27. Dwayne Bowe (KC): They made more of an effort to get him the ball last week. It'll continue.
28. Michael Floyd (ARZ): Actually seeing more targets than LFitz lately.
29. Rueben Randle (NYG): He is a legitimate threat each week now.
30. Mike Wallace/Brian Hartline (MIA): Take your pick.
Just out: Kris Durham (DET); D. Moore (OAK); Golden Tate (SEA)...assumes Harvin is out.
Stay away: MIN WRs;  Miles Austin (DAL); Mike Williams (TB) not quite healthy.
TE has been the most predictable position all season. And, some of these guys are putting up numbers only Gronk and Graham had been putting up.
1. Ron Gronkowski (NE): I'm convinced. Watch him score a couple TDs.
2. Jimmy Graham (NO): The foot problem is gone evidently.
3. Vernon Davis (JAX): Becoming Kap's favorite.
4. Julius Thomas (DEN): 8 TDs already. He should be good for another  vs. Skins.
5. Jason Witten (DAL): Having yet another great season.
6. Tony Gonzalez (ATL): Would be higher but for the lack of Julio and Roddy means more attention on him.
7. Heath Miller (PIT): Ben's security blanket.
8. Greg Olsen (CAR): Cam's security blanket.
9. Jordan Reed (WSH): Had him coming out party last week. Good matchup this week.
10. Jordan Cameron (CLE): Would be higher if he were not playing KC.
Just out: Charles Clay (MIA); Kyle Rudolph (MIN); Rob Housler (ARZ)
Usually, because I stream a defense each week, I look to see who has JAX, the rookie QBs or the teams that don't take care of the ball so well. That approach isn't gonna work because the top defenses (The ones owned) get them this week.
1. SF: Because they get JAX
2. Carolina: This is who I found. Facing rookie QB.
3. SEA: Facing Clemens/Quinn/?
4. KC: Another messed up QB situation and what has been a hot defense.
5. GB: Freeman/Ponder/Cassel. Didn't they play Joe Webb in the playoff game?
6. NO: Sneaky good play (probably available) facing another messy QB situation.
7. CIN: Facing a good QB, but still an error-prone rookie.
8. NE: Becoming a top 10 pick each week.
9. PHI: Mostly for the turnovers since NYG will score.
10. CLE: It is Alex Smith
When in doubt take guys who play in domes, on turf or in games expecting a lot of scoring. So, Prater, Bryant, Hartley, Forbath, Henery are probably the top 5 in your preferred order.
The next 5: Gostkowski, Bailey, Walsh, Akers, Janikowski
Good luck all.
I can answer any questions at @mhosinskiLLP

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