Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ROSTER MANAGEMENT - Week 13

 By Michael H. Osinski
@mhosinskiLLP
 
 
The California Bar Exam is a 3-day test. Thankfully, I only had to take it 1 time. And the funny thing is that I knew I was going to pass the morning of the 3rd day of the exam.
 
I sat there in the foyer with my coffee while the other examinees starting showing up. Inevitably, they greeted each other with "Whew, last day!" "It's almost over now."
 
So I am sitting there feeling like Ray Liotta in that Cuervo 1800 commercial in which he sees the other guys drinking girlie drinks and just smiles. These guys don't get it. The test is 3 days! You are not done yet. Those are the guys who are going to fail (70% of those who take it fail the 1st time). It's like coasting while running to first base once you hit the 60 foot mark.
 
Point is, you can fall into that kind of funk while playing Fantasy Football. The byes are done. Trade deadline is passed. You are in the home stretch. If you are already in the playoffs (I have 1 team already a lock) God bless you. If you are like everyone else still fighting to get in...run the final 30 feet! Realize the test is 3 days! In other words, do what needs to be done to win your final 2 games and get in the playoffs.
 
 Even my good teams are not without fleas. I have Knowshon Moreno in 2 leagues. He left the locker room Sunday night wearing a walking boot. Zac Stacy suffered a concussion. Ben Tate was colossally bad. I got work to do this week. I may have 1 team already in, but I have 2 still needing to deal with Day 3 of the Bar Exam.
 
What can we do going forward.
 
QB
 
The byes are done, so Wilson, Foles and Dalton are back. By this time of the season, you are kind of married to your QB situation. I know on 1 team I have Foles and Kaepernick. I am not going to go looking for another QB. I am going to look at the matchups and play the best guy.
 
In one league I have Wilson. I don't particularly like his matchups, but there is no way I am going to put my title run in the hands of Case Keenum. I have Cam Newton in the other league. I am rolling with him.
 
Point is, if you have 2 guys, pay close attention to the matchups. Tony Romo has great matchups going forward. Phil Rivers gets to play at home in good weather 4 of the next 5 games.
 
The owners with the problems are the guys who own Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler. Chances are, if you own Rodgers you are one of those teams fighting to get in the playoffs. Most of the Cutler owners are probably in the same boat. You are looking for replacements for at least one more week.
 
The lucky ones snagged Carson Palmer during his current hot streak. Some may have gotten Josh McCown. Beyond them, it's really a crapshoot.
 
Case Keenum is a nice little QB. But realize there is a reason he was not drafted. Jason Campbell has become a journeyman. I am currently in a twitter discussion with a guy I respect about benching Geno Smith.
 
Sorry, guys. I have don't have a good answer for your Discount Double Check woes. Maybe roll the dice with Matt Flynn this week. I hope you survive the last week without him.
 
RB
 
This became a spot of concern for me this weekend. Moreno in a boot. Stacy seeing stars. Tate laying an egg. The list goes on.
 
At least some of you get Shady McCoy, Gio Bernard and Marshawn Lynch back this week.
 
But what do you do with Moreno, Stacy, Tate, Daniel Thomas, etc.
 
Moreno has a bone bruise on the ankle. He is likely to play Sunday because Denver has its biggest game of the year in Kansas City. If Denver wins, they are in the driver's seat for the #1 seed. I usually think handcuffs are a waste of a roster spot, but because I believe the Broncos will rest Moreno, picking up Montee Ball may not be a bad idea.
 
Stacy has to go through the league's concussion protocol. I expect him to do so. If he doesn't, I don't know what to make of Bennie Cunningham. Sure, he ran for 100 yards, but it was against the carcass that once was the Bears defense. I am not sure I trust him.
 
Ben Tate stunk. I have him in 2 leagues. I have some trepidation about playing him this week. Dennis Johnson is available in most leagues, but I can't get my head around him being an option.
 
Ryan Mathews has a hamstring re-injury and no word yet on his availability against the Bengals. Woodhead is no doubt owned, so you will no doubt have to look elsewhere.
 
Bobby Rainey might be available in your league, but he has a lousy matchup. CJ Anderson or Ronnie Hilleman for the same reason Ball is an option. Bernard Pierce?
 
A thought...lots of owners gave up on CJ Spiller. He finishes well, and his matchups down the stretch are pretty good. I have him in 2 leagues and may play him.
 
Another thought for a RB is Brandon Bolden. Stevan Ridley fumbled himself out of a job and NE won't commit to giving Shane Vereen the feature back job. 
 
WR
 
There were no significant WR injuries this week and AJ Green, DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Percy Harvin and Golden Tate are all back.
 
So, most owners will be rolling with the WR corps they wanted or settled for.
 
If you have lousy guys on your bench, or want an upgrade, remember Nate Burleson is back from Pizza Gate. I touted him last week, and he didn't even get picked up in my own leagues. I have a claim in on him this week.
 
Tiquan Underwood and his retro-90s haircut blew by Lions defenders for a 85-yard TD and is a solid #2 in Tampa.
 
I'd stay away from the rest of what's out there. There are guys out there I would roster and watch if it were Week 3...but we are fighting for our playoff lives and I am not going to rely on Mike Brown.
 
TE
 
Just ouch! 3 leagues. My TEs are Julius Thomas; Julius Thomas and Jordan Reed; Jordan Reed. I started Delanie Walker in all 3 leagues. I actually couldn't believe he was available in all 3. He'd had TDs in 3 of the last 4 games.
 
Thomas's ankle is well enough that I expect him to play. I suspect Reed will pass the concussion protocol and play as well. But, if you need a TE to cover injury or just want insurance, Walker, Ladarius Green, Rob Housler and John Carlson are probably available.
 
DEF
 
I have always streamed defenses. I have had a reasonable amount of success doing it.
 
Usually, look for teams that are facing rookie or back up QBs or teams facing squads that don't take care of the ball well. It doesn't always work, but it usually does.
 
In 2 leagues, I lucked into Carolina at the right time and I am still rolling with them. That may change when they play New Orleans twice in 3 weeks, but for now...
 
In the league I still stream, I am going with Cleveland. Nice front 7, and they do have the current best cover-corner in the game (Joe Haden).
 
 
K
 
I hate talking about kickers. I stream them as well. The results this year have been all over the map. I have had a couple of 17-point weeks. But, twice I have had 0! Just give me 8-10 a week and I'll be happy.
 
Stay away from weather problems, which this week means the whole East Coast. Stay in domes. Warm weather.
 
This week I am rolling with Nick Novak in SD in 2 leagues. The Chargers play 4 or their final 5 games at home, and if you didn't notice, the weather in SD is pretty damn good. I might keep him the rest of the season.
 
In my 3rd league I am going with Sebastian Janikowski. He has Dallas this week and a couple home games to go.
 
Message of the week: Finish well. Make the playoffs.
 
Good luck. I am available for questions at @mhosinskiLLP

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