Tuesday, November 5, 2013

ROSTER MANAGEMENT - Week 10

By Michael H. Osinski
@mhosinskiLLP
 
 
There is way too much off-the-field football news going on this past week. It's distracting me.
 
Two Head Coaches with serious health scares and all the talk of how stressful it really is to be a Head Coach in the NFL.
 
The Incognito thing reminds me of the Bounty Gate scandal. Headhunting rewards are something that had always happened in the NFL with full knowledge of everyone. The Saints just took it way over the line. Rookie hazing has existed for years. The Dolphins(Generally) and Incognito (Specifically), took it way over the line. Think Incognito=Vilma; Ireland, Philbin, Turner=Loomis, Payton, Williams. The Saints institutionally sanctioned reckless behavior. The Dolphins enabled a hostile work environment. Expect some big suspensions and fines.
 
All this stress and hostility now has me stressed about my fantasy teams. Maybe it is warranted. Maybe it isn't. What I know is in my 3 leagues I have 5 games to get in the playoffs. I have 1 team that will waltz into the playoffs as a bonafide top seed, 1 team that will two-step into the playoffs as a 3-4 seed,  and 1 team, that if it can squeeze into the playoffs as the last team in, will probably do that silly Joseph Fauria "white boy" excuse for a dance. (If you haven't seen it, think Kevin James in "Hitch").
 
Injuries are again making it tough to navigate. I know I have written it a lot, but I have 1 team that has lost Vick(twice), Julio Jones, Amendola(twice), David Wilson and Kyle Rudolph. I also lost Marques Colston and Larry Fitzgerald for a couple games. And, my first pick was CJ Spiller. Only good roster management has kept the team afloat. 
 
When I saw Aaron Rodgers go down last night, I did a double check of my rosters just to be sure I didn't have him as well. Then after seeing how Seneca Wallace played, I found it ironic that a team whose superstar QB is a spokesman for an insurance company has no insurance at backup QB.
 
OK. So how to approach Week 10. Deep breaths.
 
QB
 
Rodgers is hurt for who knows how long. Cutler may be coming back. Brady on bye. (So are Alex Smith and Geno Smith, but if you are riding those guys you have problems.)
 
There are probably some options. Foles, Locker and McCown are all owned in my league. If Foles or Locker is still available in yours, hit send. On McCown wait until later in the week to see whether Cutler really is going to play, or whether he just feared his job status was teetering because he is a free agent after this season and McCown looked good.
 
Case Keenum is available in my league and I expect the Rodgers owner in my league to consider him. That guy on NFL Network loves him, but I am still skeptical. EJ Manuel is back this week and faces the sieve that is the Pittsburgh defense.
 
I fixed my "Vick problem" before Week 9's games by dealing for Cam Newton(it cost me Shady McCoy!) mostly because I didn't really like any of the choices I had available.
 
Mike Glennon is interesting this week. First, he put up a stellar half against arguably the best defense in the league. And second, this week he gets to face a Dolphin team in turmoil. If I had no other options, I'd look to Glennon.
 
Another option is to see what develops in Green Bay. The thought is Rodgers is out 3-4 weeks. The truth is 4 of the 5 upcoming games for Green Bay are very winnable. The problem game is the one against Detroit, because they'll probably be playing for the division.
 
That being said, Seneca Wallace is not the answer. Matt Flynn played well in the Green Bay system and clears waivers later today. Scott Tolzien is Green Bay's Practice Squad QB. He also got a sizable raise recently when QBs were going down like flies. A lot of TV analysts are asking where Vince Young is hiding.
 
Lastly, Carson Palmer seems to be available in a lot of leagues. Sneaky good pick?
 
RB
 
Ridley, Ivory, Charles on bye. McFadden added to the injury list. Foster already there. But, as we have said before, injuries create opportunity.
 
I am assuming Ben Tate, Andre Ellington, Shonn Greene, Andre Brown and Shane Vereen are owned. If they are not, that would be a good place to start.
 
Tate's cracked ribs scare me a bit. (Theoretically makes Dennis Johnson relevant).  Greene is too TD dependant to trust. I like Ellington, even if he does only get 15 touches. Andre Brown is going to get the ball. I am playing him this week.
 
The other options include Rashad Jennings (again), Jon Stewart and James Starks.
 
Stewart is the most talented of the three, but he shares carries with Williams, Tolbert AND Cam Newton.  Starks has to share with Eddie Lacy. I like Jennings the best of this group just based on what I saw Sunday.
 
I would avoid any RB in Cleveland. (Are you going to trust your week to a back named Fozzy?) (I know Cleveland is on bye, but I have never written a column with the name Fozzy mentioned.)
 
And please, please do not fall for Darrel Young.
 
WR
 
Lots of bodies on bye, but few stars. But, if you have to replace Dobson, Bowe, Amendola, Josh Gordon or one of those Jets guys, there are options.
 
Riley Cooper is owned in my league. (The owner played him too, netting over 30 points!) If he is available in your league, he is a good option.
 
After that, it gets a little sketchy. Eddie Royal might have been thrown back. Ditto Lance Moore. Royal gets to play his old team (Denver) this week. Ask Chris Ivory about that kind of motivation. With Sproles and Colston's health concerns, Moore may make a decent gamble.
 
Mario Manningham is an interesting play, and I expect a few people to try and claim his this week. Mike Brown gets a bump in the post-Blackmon Jags plans. I'd consider either of them, but I wouldn't play them. I'd probably trade for help.
 
The rest of the guys (Cole Beasly, Tiguan Underwood and Jericho Cotchery) should stay on the WW.
 
Leonard Hankerson is getting targeted and is the #2 WR on a team starting to get hot.
 
TE
 
So you say you need a replacement for Gronkowski, Kyle Rudolph, Jordan Cameron or one of the Jet's?
 
I assume Jordan Reed and Coby Fleener are owned. If not, start there.
 
The next group is interesting: Tim Wright, Zac Ertz, John Carlson. To me Ertz is similar to Riley Cooper in that Foles likes looking for him. So, if Foles is successful, like he was in Oakland, he is a good pick. I don't think Christian Ponder will risk losing his spot to Cassel or Freeman throwing to Carlson. (Though he did land a $25M contract a couple years ago.) 
 
I have a claim in on Wright to replace Rudolph. He's looked good a couple weeks in a row and it seems Glennon trusts him. Another neat feature is that he also qualifies at WR if you like him better than your WR choices. (A bigger Dexter McCluster?)
 
Even if you have flexibility, I'd avoid Kellen Winslow Jr. (On bye, and just finished a 4-game suspension). I'd also avoid Garret Graham (I was wrong about him. I really thought he would be good.) Scott Chandler is maddening inconsistent.
 
DEF
 
Kansas City, New England and the Jets are all top 12 defenses this year.
 
If you need to replace one of these, or if you are like me and stream a new defense each week, go with either the Titans or Colts. If Carolina  or Arizona is available, they are good.   
 
Beyond those guys, look for teams drawing rookie/back up QBs.
 
K
 
Maybe David Akers got thrown in during his bye week. He is a good choice. Alex Henery got dropped a lot a couple weeks ago. Nick Novak isn't owned as often as he should be.
 
Other than that, guys in domes and on high scoring teams.
 
Good luck everyone. I am available for lineup questions, trade advice or other roster issues at @mhosinskiLLP

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