Tuesday, October 22, 2013


By Michael H. Osinski
I was watching the "crawl" at the bottom of the screen during the Sunday night game. I saw a bunch of player names and my first thought was "They are already setting the Pro Bowl Ballot?" Then the reality hit me. I was looking at the casualty list from "Sunday, Bloody Sunday."
Consider the status associated with the names: Doug Martin, Jay Cutler, Reggie Wayne, Jermichael Finley, Sam Bradford, Nick Foles...ok. I'll stop now before sickening any more decimated fantasy owner's hopes of a decent season. (I didn't even get to the defensive side of the ball.)
We deal with roster moves each week, but rarely have we had the opportunity we have now. Yes, I said opportunity. With 7 weeks in the books, most leagues have big 4-3, 3-4 log jams. A couple timely pickups could help the astute owner steal a game or 2 and make the playoffs. And as I have said several times, "Just get me in...anything can happen over a 2 game span." (My 11-3 juggernaut last year lost the title to an 8-6 team.)
With that in mind, to the wire.
So not only have we lost Bradford and Cutler, but we have bye weeks screwing up the available pool of signal callers. Rivers, Locker, Schaub/Keenum, Flacco, Luck, Locker. The only break is that the Bears have a bye, so Cutler owners had already been planning.
A lot of owners carry 2 QBs (I am generally not one of them), so your availability may be even more limited than some of these suggestions. You might even make a trade to cover an injury here.
These guys are probably owned, but if they are not, start here...
Eli Manning, Pryor, Dalton, Tannehill
Manning has been dumped in a lot of leagues because of picks; Pryor got cut by a bunch because he was on a bye week. Dalton's unpredictability has a lot of the owners that have him leery of playing him. (In my league of record, one owner has Brees and Dalton, but picked up Foles to cover Brees's bye) Of the 4, the opportunity for upside lies with Pryor.
These are the guys from which you must choose...
Freeman, Campbell/Weeden, Palmer, Quinn, G.Smith, Glennon
Freeman was historically bad last night. (First QB in 50 years to attempt 50 for under 200 yds and 0 TD). Weeden has been pretty bad. Bad enough that there is a lot of speculation Jason Campbell will get to get killed this week in KC. Palmer gets no protection so who knows what to expect there. Brady Quinn is working out for the Rams this morning. Since he is better than Tyler Thigpen, I expect him to be signed.
That brings me to the guy I'd take...Geno Smith. Runs. Nice deep ball. A team that wants to run and play good defense. He provides the best opportunity for consistent scoring the rest of the season among the guys in this group.
Glennon got a lot of attention last week when Adam Rank of NFL.com picked him up to cover a bye. Now he has a rookie RB and a gimpy Mike Williams. You don't think anyone noticed Vincent Jackson got 22 targets Sunday?
Stay away from the mess in Buffalo.
If you don't need to cover this week, Locker is probably your best bet.
Somewhat less a problem if you don't mind taking a gamble on a guy who otherwise is a flex at best.
Again, we will start with guys who may be owned...
Ivory, Ellington, Helu, Franklin (CAR), Pierce, Randle, Stacy
The only guy not owned in my league of record of this group is Jonathan Franklin. He is back from PUP list and will, because of his talent, end up in a timeshare with Williams. Makes him a must own. I took a flier on Ivory last week and was rewarded. Helu gets 12 touches a game in the Redskin's "Turbo Package". "Juke" Ellington is the best back on his team. Randle (and to an extent Dunbar) are good until Murray comes back. Stacy probably got picked when we suggested him in Week 5.
If I had to rank them for the rest of the year in terms of opportunity: Ivory, Stacy, Ellington, Helu, Franklin, Pierce, Randle.
If you can afford to wait, it may be time to grab and stash Andre Brown and Shane Vereen.
These guys only in really deep leagues and only if you have a strong stomach...
Mike James, Jacobs/Cox/Hillis, Snelling, Franklin (GB)...OK, I'll stop now.
Some people are taking fliers on David Wilson, but even if he does return, it wouldn't be until week 11-12. 
Wayne was going to be on a bye week, so you probably already had a plan for this week. Doesn't take the sting away, but you probably bought yourself enough time to regroup.
By now, Percy Harvin is not available in most leagues. If by some slim chance he is available in yours, grab him. He is practicing and may play Sunday. Might not be too early to stash Crabtree if you can afford to wait for playoffs help.
Let's start with the guys who won't help this week, but are good fits for the remainder of the season...
DHB, Keenan Allen, Hopkins, Washington, Jones/Brown
Hayward-Bay is the obvious beneficiary of the Wayne injury. I wouldn't bet against the Colts going shopping for someone (Gordon, Nicks). Allen should've been grabbed a couple weeks ago. Ditto Hopkins. Nate Washington is surprisingly widely available and with Locker returning is a good WR3. Jacoby Jones is back and Marlon Brown is sharing his looks.
OK. Immediate help.
Douglas, Boykin, Hill, Roberts, Stills...I'm not going on. You get the idea.
Douglas and Boykin probably got picked last week. If not, get them. Stephen Hill (and to a lesser extent Kerley) have Geno throwing them the ball. Stills is a bit erratic, but may be good for 4 long TDs the rest of the season. Andre Roberts got dropped a lot given the Card's trouble with pass protection. Miles Austin is in the same boat.
I'd rather take the hit and trade for a more dependable WR3. (Emmanuel Sanders anyone?)
I feel for anyone who lost Finley. The Cobb injury was getting him more looks. Andrew Quarless will get his snaps now. Boykin and James Jones will get his targets.
As for bye replacement TEs, Fasano looked good in his return Sunday. Not sure whether Cumberland got picked up in your league. Ditto Tim Wright. After that, it's kind of thin if you need to cover Gates, Bennett, Graham or Delanie Walker, unless you want to roll the dice on Fauria or Zac Ertz.
As I have said, I stream a new defense each week. I ascribe to the theory of picking on the weak, error prone offenses or the ones with rookie QBs. That approach won't work so well this week. JAX plays SF. Buff plays NO. NYJ play CIN. Those defenses are owned.
I streamed CAR last week and it worked well. This week they get TB, so I am actually standing pat for the first time this year.
If like a lot of leagues, Janikowski got dropped because of his bye, get him. If you can't Henery, Sturgis and Haushka are available in a lot more leagues than you might think.
Good luck taking advantage of what could be multiple opportunties.
If you have specific questions, I can be reached at @mhosinskiLLP. Later this week, player rankings.

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