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Fantasy Football Championship Week Dos and Don’ts

December 18, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

It is finally here for some of you, your fantasy football championship week. Fourteen weeks and endless hours of draft preparation have brought you to this point. Unfortunately with big games comes big pressure, and the wrong decision can result in an early exit and an offseason of depression.

Don’t over-analyze - There is a reason you have gotten this far in the fantasy football playoffs. Stick with what got you here. The most common mistake for first-time championship players is to over-think your game. For example, you own Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks are playing the Arizona Cardinals this week. You start Lynch no matter what. Especially this season as no defense has been consistent for fifteen games.

The worst words you want to hear before you play your running back are Cardinals. Yes, the Cardinals have shutdown the run for most of the season and are first against the run in fantasy football. Yes the Cardinals have given up only 4 rushing TDs all season.  However, are you really going to shut down someone as hot as Marshawn Lynch in your championship week for someone off the waiver wire? Are you going to sit down Drew Brees just because he is playing the Carolina Panthers? Now if you are sitting there with comparable backups on your bench you may and I stress may want to consider it. However, the moral here is not to panic. Stick with the money guys who brought you to the dance, especially if you don’t have any suitable backups on your bench. Strange things can happen, just ask anyone who played against Jamaal Charles last week.

Skip the waiver wire - There is no reason you should even think of playing the waiver wire game.  Yes Matt Cassel is tempting, but can you really trust an offense like the Vikings at this point? I look at it this way when it comes to playing guys in fantasy football at this point in the season. It comes down to, who do you trust? If there is a gem flying around your waiver wire, I’d grab him only to keep him away from your opponent. But I’d have a hard time resting my championship hopes on someone that has been hanging around for most of the year on the wire.

Go with a running back in your flex position - I have always had a rule which has cost me on some weeks, but has won me more games in the long haul. My rule of thumb is always start a running back in the flex position over a wide receiver. I don’t care if you have three great receivers. One of them has to sit for the running back. Remember what time of year we are in. It is the winter time, and this is the time of the year where most teams will be running over passing in outdoor weather.

Of course this is subject to change if you have no true starting running back to start in the flex while you have a great receiver sitting on your bench. At the same time, you know a running back is going to get his carries. Whether he scores or not, he is going to get double digit carries depending upon the offense. The wide receiver you want to play could be easily shut out. I’d rather take 7 points from a bad running back than 0 from a wide receiver.

Beware of fuzzy fantasy football statistics - This is something that could get you into big trouble if you don’t do your homework. There are a lot of writers and websites that give you fantasy stats such as average points a team gives up to tight ends, quarterbacks, etc. Read the stats closely.

Most of these websites are giving you seasonal stats. My rule of thumb is to look at a team’s last four-five games. For example, the Minnesota Vikings are ranked as one of the best bets for running backs by most fantasy sites. Those same “experts” will yell and scream to play your running backs against the Vikings. What they don’t tell you is that over the last four games, the Vikings have only given up one touchdown to opposing running backs. A lot of those fantasy football sites use seasonal stats and while the Vikings  may have been shredded a few times, they aren’t the “give me” that most fantasy experts would lead you to believe they are. The same can be said for the Jaguars, who have greatly improved their defense over the last few weeks. These fantasy websites can be a great guide, but do your own homework. Remember this is the championship game and chances are your opponent is up to his neck in stats. Be prepared and you’ll be fine.

Go with your gut - This goes for the playoffs and regular season. I have been there. Your gut is telling you one thing but all of the “experts” or bloggers are telling you another. At the end of the day this is purely a guessing game for all of us. Nothing is ever a sure thing. Strange things happen in December whether it is weather, injuries, or coaches on the hot seat, or just flukes. Your gut is what got you to the championship game in the first place. It is okay to accumulate as much information as possible and use that towards making your decision. I just wouldn’t make a decision purely based off of something you hear or read that completely goes against your instincts. The only one who has accountability this week is you. Remember that.

So there they are, a few dos and don’ts for fantasy football championship players. Hopefully you followed some of my advice this season and had some luck in your league (and better luck than I had in some of my others). Good luck in your championship, and welcome to the big dance.

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2013 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 9

October 29, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

It is win-or go-home for some of you frustrated fantasy football players as we are just weeks away from the playoffs. The waiver wire isn’t nearly as juicy as it was last week but there are still a few gambles and subs that are worth a look.

Running Backs

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals – Ellington has flown under the radar for several reasons, most notably being the team he plays for. Savvy players either picked him up weeks ago or even drafted him with a late pick. Ellington had a big game against the Falcons on Sunday and should continue with big production in the weeks ahead. Ellington is on a bye week so you won’t see any immediate dividends.

Quarterbacks

Jason Campbell, Cleveland Browns – Get him while he is still playing. The over/under on Campbell getting hurt is probably about 2 games so I would be careful who you drop to get him. Campbell got hot in Oakland a few times before injuries sent him to the bench. He had great numbers against the best defense in football over the weekend. If you own Brady or Eli Manning or another under-producing QB you are probably best served to give Campbell a shot at this point.

Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings – Okay I know, Ponder sucks but he may not suck so bad in fantasy football this weekend. If you have a QB on bye or someone like Bradford that got hurt, Ponder could be a decent one-week option. Ponder has a great matchup against those Dallas Cowboys who are ranked dead last against fantasy QBs in standard scoring leagues. You look back at the Cleveland game and know he can put up the numbers. Now would I start him? No, but if I was desperate and needed a QB for this week only I may actually give it a shot.

Wide Receivers

Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints – I am at the point where I am going to put in a claim for Stills and drop Marques Colston. Stills has some nice numbers but his lack of targets do scare me a bit. The upside here is that Stills should get opportunities every week in this high-powered offense. I certainly don’t expect the kind of numbers he put up against the Bills but I think he can be a nice sub if you have a WR 2 or WR 3 on a bye week. The inconsistency prevents me from recommending him for anything more.

Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals – I am a little dubious of any WRs that rely on Andy Dalton to throw them ball weekly and that includes AJ Green. Yet Jones had an outstanding game against the Jets catching 4 TDs…yes 4! I would be amazed to see that again this season but Jones could be a sneaky play as defenses double Green and leave Jones with single coverage. He has a TD in each of his last three games so something is definitely brewing here and it’s more than just a fluke.

Defense

Oakland Raiders, Defense – I hate when the fantasy experts tell you not to pay attention to defenses. Do you like being the guy who loses by a few points to a guy who had a D that scored double digits? I don’t. The Raiders are getting hot and are becoming a consistent fantasy defense option. The matchup against the Eagles alone is worth a roll of the dice here. The Eagles are 27th against defenses in standard scoring leagues.

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2013 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 8

October 22, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

It is crunch time and if you are struggling, this could be your make it or break it week in fantasy football. Bye weeks aren’t going to help but lucky for you there are actually some decent plug-ins you can pick up on the waiver wire due to some unfortunate injuries, especially at running back.

Quarterbacks

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans - I know Locker has a bye week so you can’t use him if you need immediate help. But he lit up the 49ers on Sunday and he has some phenomenal matchups on the agenda when he returns from the bye. He’ll have the Rams and the Jaguars and who wouldn’t want a QB that gets them both at this point in the season? If you are struggling at QB and can wait a week, Locker is worth the early investment.

Case Keenum, Houston Texans - Keenum came in for the injured Matt Schaub and put up respectable numbers. 271 yards and a TD isn’t bad for a backup coming in to start. The Texans are entering a bye week and it is entirely feasible that Schaub starts when they return. Yet I think Keenum has Gary Kubiak thinking and whether Schaub comes back as the starter or not, his leash could be very short.

Tight Ends

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins – Reed came out of nowhere last week in a shootout against the Bears with 134 yards and a TD. Those are Jimmy Graham numbers right there. Is he going to put up those numbers every week? I can’t imagine he does. However, he is now a legitimate option in a high-potential offense. I am not big on anointing guys as studs after one big week but he is certainly worth a grab.

Running Backs

Roy Helu Jr., Washington Redskins – Helu has been awesome thus far when given significant playing time for the Redskins. Morris is having a nice year but it is not the kind of a year that should keep someone like Helu away from his touches. Are you really surprised there is a running back controversy on a Mike Shanahan team? This is why I stayed away from Morris at my draft. At this point you have to add him and see what happens as the season progresses.

Chris Iovry, New York Jets - He is out there on a lot of wires and is certainly worth the pickup. This Jets backfield is reminding me of the Redskins backfield with all of the inconsistency at running back. It would appear although it is not confirmed that Bilal Powell suffered some kind of injury. Goodson is out for the year. That leaves Ivory as the main bell-cow. I wouldn’t get too excited over what he did to a depleted Patriots defense but there is definitely value moving forward.

Mike James, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - I am not a big fan of using my wire pick on someone just because he is a starter. James is going to get some time in Tampa Bay due to an injury to Doug Martin. The only reason I recommend James is because if you are desperate and need a starting back, he is out there and has the job for the rest of the season. The offensive line here is not very good and the offense is very inconsistent. Stranger things have happened (look at Brandon Jacobs two weeks ago) so if you need a spot at RB, James is worth a gamble. If you don’t I’d pass.

Wide Receivers

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Indianapolis Colts – It seems like one way or another DHB winds up on my waiver wire list every year. This year he is in Indianapolis and could be the big beneficiary of an injury to Reggie Wayne. In this offense DHB has a tremendous opportunity to shine. If you need some help at WR he could be the answer to your WR woes.

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2013 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 7

October 15, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

This week’s fantasy football waiver wire may be one of the most critical of all for you. If you are struggling with a weak bench, you have no choice but to look to the wire for help. Unfortunately you probably won’t find any sure-things this week.

Quarterbacks

There are no pickups I could recommend with confidence. Josh Freeman is out there but you’d have to be crazy to put him in your lineup at this point.

Wide Receivers

Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers - Boykin may wind up seeing a lot of balls thrown his way by default. Randall Cobb and James Jones both left Sunday’s game with injuries. Their exits left Boykin and Jordy Nelson as the only receiving options. I like those options. Teams will likely start giving Nelson a lot of attention opening up some big opportunities for Boykin. I am real intrigued moving forward.

Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers - Hear me out on this one. Cobb is hurt and will miss time. There is a chance that someone in your league will drop him up out of desperation. You could theoretically pick him up, stash him, and unleash him in your playoffs. Obviously he won’t be on a lot of wires but I have seen (and grabbed) better in past seasons thanks to desperate owners.

Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks - I have written about Harvin before but now is the time to get him. Harvin’s return date is still TBD but numerous reports say that Harvin could be back soon. After seeing the abysmal options at wide receiver on Sunday I can almost guarantee you that Pete Carroll will do whatever he can to get Harvin back on the field sooner than later. It’s hard to say what kind of value he’ll actually have starting the season late on a new team, in a new system, with a new QB but the upside could be huge.

Running Backs

Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants - I cringe even writing this but the fact is that he is a starting running back on a team that can move the ball up and down the field. I wouldn’t expect the kind of numbers he put up against Chicago every week. However, the Giants still have a pretty decent running game. Keep in mind that Andre Brown could return as early as Week 10 which would potentially kill Jacobs’ goal-line value. But if you need a back in the meantime, you could do much worse.

Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys - DeMarco Murray suffered his annual injury on Sunday night against the Redskins leaving Randle as the primary ball carrier for this team. Randle did little to impress but what I like here is his offense. The running game was huge Sunday night and Randle should get a lot of opportunities. The Cowboys will move the ball and I’d be shocked if Randle didn’t get a goal-line carry or two per game while Murray is out.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals - Ellington put up really nice numbers against one of the best defenses in the NFL against the run. Ellington continues to produce and could be a sneaky play going forward. Quite frankly of all running backs here I like Ellington’s upside the most going forward towards the post-season.

Mikelle LeShoure, Detroit Lions - What? Why would you grab LeShoure? I’ll tell you why. Joqouie Bell is hurt and the starting back for the Detroit Lions is one of the most brittle players in all of football. On top of that, LeShoure did well on goal-line carries last year so if the Lions decide to replace Bush with LeShoure at the goal-line, he could see some major value going forward. Of course his value is minimal if Bell makes a quick return.

Tight Ends

Ben Watson, New England Patriots - Jimmy Graham was in and out of Sunday’s game with an injury and right now his status is unknown going forward. The tight end plays a big part in this offense and Watson is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the game. Check out his numbers in Cleveland a few years ago when he was featured and you’ll salivate about what he could do in this offense without Jimmy Graham. Graham owners especially should take a run at Watson until further word comes out on Graham’s injury status.

Joseph Fauria, Detroit Lions - I would say to handle with care when it comes to Fauria. Fauria had 3 TDs but he only had 3 catches. Those sound a lot like Kyle Rudolph’s stats. The upside here is that maybe Stafford gained some confidence in Fauria and will start looking at him more often in the red zone. The downside here is that maybe he only catches one or two balls a game and none are in the end zone. Personally, I would look elsewhere but if you are in a deep league and have an injury at the position, I’d take a shot.

Dallas Clark, Baltimore Ravens - Dallas Clark finally had the game his owners who drafted him were waiting for. The problem is that most of you probably dropped him about two weeks ago. He is certainly out there. Is this a case of a guy just having a random good day or a guy who is finally familiar with his offense and has the quarterback’s confidence? All I know is that the Ravens desperately need a jolt at offense and maybe Clark is the guy to provide that.

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2013 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 6

October 08, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

We are already reaching the halfway point for some of you in the fantasy football regular season. It is either time to panic or boost your bench for the stretch run. While there aren’t any diamonds in the ruff on the waiver wire this week, there are a few guys that you may be able to plug and play during your bye weeks to sustain your momentum or turn it around.

Quarterbacks

Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars - Henne will be taking over duties for Blaine Gabbert and that is good news for fantasy owners looking for a bye week QB. Henne has a brutal matchup against the Denver Broncos this week which in terms of fantasy is good news for garbage time. At some point this game will be out of hand and the Jags will rack up some garbage points

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles - Who wouldn’t want a QB in this offense? Vick is out at least for a week if not more. Foles is nowhere near the scrambler Vick is but all he needs is a couple TDs to make it work. He had 197 yards and 2 TDs in relief work (although it was against the Giants). He has a decent matchup against Tampa Bay this week and a great one against Dallas if Vick remains on the sidelines in Week 7.

Running Backs

Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers - I will admit that I was a little late to this party. My wishful bias as a Ryan Matthews owner refused to allow me to see the light of Woodhead. Woodhead has become a bigger part of the offense than any other Chargers running back. He now has back to back double digit points and has a sweet matchup in two weeks with the Jaguars. If he is still around I’d hop on the bandwagon and grab him.

Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams - I am not overly excited about Zac Stacy but he is a starting running back in an offense that would like to run the ball. If you are like me and your run with Bilal Powell is over, Stacy makes a perfect pickup for your drop. Stacy isn’t a guy you’d use every week but you may play a matchup here and there. More importantly he gives you depth. He had an impressive game this week but it was the Jaguars. Time will tell if he is the real deal but if you wait, you may miss out.

Marcel Reese, Oakland Raiders - Reese is the next man up in Oakland. With McFadden and Jennings hurt, Reese could be the bell cow next week. Keep in mind that Reese is a guy that could have no value moving forward but if you have a back on bye this week, you could do much worse. If you do pick him up watch the injury report this weekend because if McFadden does play you aren’t playing Reese.

Wide Receivers

Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots - I am not a huge fan of owning any Patriots running backs but if you were going to own any, Bolden would be your guy for now. The upside here is that Gronk is expected back at any time. Defenses are bound to play the pass and give up more runs once he returns to the lineup. It’s obvious that the Pats have no interest in giving Blount the load with Bolden playing 40 snaps to Blount’s 22 on Sunday. Bolden will be that guy and could get more playing time in shootouts (pass-heavy games) than Ridley going forward.

Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars - Plenty of savvy owners already drafted Blackmon but I was surprised to see how available he is throughout the ESPN leagues. Anyone who watched this kid in college knows how talented he is. On another team the kid would have the ability to be Dez Bryant. Yet even in Jacksonville he can shine. He had a nice game this last week but it was the Rams so please keep that in mind. I see him as more a matchup guy but if you can get him he’s a great play during some critical bye weeks. The Jags are going to need to score a ton of points to keep up with the Broncos Sunday. Blackmon could be a hot play, especially in garbage time in Week 6.

Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers - Allen isn’t what I’d call a sexy name but he is a guy that is a part of a high-powered offense. The Chargers defense stinks and they will always need to throw to stay in games. Rivers is back to Pro Bowl form and now that Eddie Royal is getting attention, Allen is getting more opportunities. He has had two great weeks in a row and continues to play in two-wide receiver sets. He certainly isn’t someone I’d play every week over the usual starters but as a bye week substitute he is pretty good.

Tight Ends

Garrett Graham, Houston Texans - Graham immediately pops up on the wire now that Owen Daniels will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. Schaub likes to throw to tight ends (in between throwing to DBs) which makes Graham an intriguing pickup. While the Rams matchup sounds intriguing the Rams defense has actually played pretty well against tight ends. I’d grab him but look for other options this week if you have them.

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2013 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 5

October 01, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Week 5 on the fantasy football waiver wire isn’t what I’d call exciting. You have a couple of usual suspects when it comes to the waiver wire but you never know. A roll of the dice on some of these names could pay off in big dividends if you are looking for bye week relief.

Quarterbacks

Matt Cassel, Minnesota Vikings – Like Nate Washington I feel like I bit by Cassel fairly often. The potential has always been there but how often does he really stay on my team? Maybe it was the system in Kansas City because he looked great against Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Vikings have a bye week and while the team says Ponder will get his job back, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Wide Receivers

Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans – I have always liked Washington and I don’t think a season has passed in the last several years where he hasn’t been on one of my benches. Washington now has back to back weeks of over 100 yards receiving with two different quarterbacks. I think Washington’s chances are better to succeed with Kenny Britt off the field and there are reports that Britt is on the block. I’ll probably take another shot on him. He’s inconsistent but he has a ton of upside if you are looking for a bye week gamble.

Jerome Simpson, Minnesota Vikings – While everyone in your league will be clamoring for Greg Jennings, you can be the smart one and grab the better Vikings wide receiver. Simpson has now had two games of over 100 yards. He hasn’t scored a TD but with defenses keying in on A.P. you’d expect him to get some chances. What I really like him is that he has had 100 or more with both Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel so the QB really doesn’t make a big difference.

Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills – Savvy players have probably already scooped up this Bill but he may be available. He is most valuable in my opinion in dynasty leagues. I don’t like the consistency just yet but there is a good chance that he and Manuel will be a deadly combination in upcoming seasons. Once again I would make the move more if I were in a dynasty league but he may be worth a shot regardless.

Running Backs

Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders – I have always found Jennings to be underwhelming, specifically when he had his opportunities in Jacksonville but he may be a sneaky pickup for a week. Jennings is the only healthy running back in Oakland which means he’d get a lion’s share of the load. Jennings would probably be more valuable to you if you are in a PPR league but if you need a back for a bye week, he may be worth a shot.

Roy Helu, Washington Redskins – If you are a gambling fantasy player than this is your waiver wire pick. Helu came in for an injured Alfred Morris and exploded for 84 total yards and a score. Morris has a rib injury and remains to be seen how severe it is. Early word is that it isn’t that bad but you never know with Mike Shanahan. His teams haven’t always been truthful when it comes to reporting injuries. If you want to take a gamble, grab Helu, and watch the injury report next week. I would bank on Morris returning but if you have the room Helu can be a nice wait-and-see on your bench.

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2013 Fantasy Football Week 4 Waiver Wire Pickups

September 24, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Week four presents some interesting options on the waiver wire. Once again we have another week where the best upside comes at quarterback. The bye weeks are underway so if you need a little help this week’s wire could provide some relief.

It is only week 4 and while you don’t want to panic you also don’t want to sit back and let options slip through your fingers. There is nothing wrong with tinkering a little on the wire. Now is the time when you can start playing the matchups and look at the wire to take advantage of bad defenses and inept offenses. Look no further than this week to take full advantage of those opportunities.

Quarterbacks

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins - I wasn’t a big Tannehill fan going into the season but he is quietly putting up nice numbers. Let’s face it. When you have a playmaker like Mike Wallace on your field you are going to put up some points as a QB. Tannehill has a Monday Night Football matchup against the Saints. The Saints defense have improved greatly but this is a game that will likely see a lot of points. Matt Ryan torched them in the first week so they are beatable. I can’t see why Tannehill doesn’t put together a decent game here.

Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns - You just can’t ignore what this kid did on Sunday. For one, Hoyer had more passing attempts than any other QB on Sunday. The Browns went with a pass-heavy game plan and I don’t see why that won’t continue with Trent Richardson gone. I also love a QB like Hoyer on a team with Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner running the offense. Josh Gordon is back and the kid is an absolute beast. Hoyer has tremendous upside and I am ready to take a shot at him, stick him on my bench, and see what he has the rest of the season.

Running Backs

Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons - I have fallen for that old Snelling trick before when Michael Turner went down but maybe this year is different. Snelling came to play Sunday with Steven Jackson on the bench. Snelling put up over 100 total yards receiving and rushing. I love the fact that they are using him in the passing game. The Patriots give up a lot on the ground and Snelling could be a savvy play this week.

Jonathon Franklin, Green Bay Packers - While you were busy blowing your waiver wire pick on James Starks, savvy players in your league were reaching for Jonathon Franklin. Franklin is still out there on a lot of waiver wires but the kicker is he is on a bye. Not only that, Eddie Lacy will likely be back by the time the Pack returns. My advice is if you have room grab him because I have a feeling that Franklin will see more time and could wind up breaking out at some point this season.

Wide Receivers

Stephen Hill, New York Jets - Personally I am staying away from any Jets receivers but I should include him in case you feel differently. Hill has been targeted a lot by Geno Smith and while the buzz this week is around Holmes, I think Hill is the receiver to grab here (if you are going for one or the other). The Jets have a real nice matchup this week in Tennessee and I could easily see Hill slicing up that secondary for a score.

Donnie Avery, Kansas City Chiefs - I am not ready to stick Avery in my lineup over established starters but I am ready to take a shot on him and keep him on reserves for a bye week. Avery broke out and racked up 141 yards against the Eagles last week. What I really like most about Avery is what he does after the catch. There is a lot of talent there. He has serious potential to break out if Smith can play consistent and show more trust in Avery. The upside is there so why not take a shot if you’re struggling?

Jason Avant, Philadelphia Eagles - As an Eagles fan I started to notice some nice things out of Avant in week 1. He wound up scoring his first TD last week against Kansas City and caught five passes for 87 yards. Avant is the kind of sneaky receiver that can really benefit from this offense. Teams will be concentrating on D Jax and Shady leaving Avant with one-on-one coverage. The Eagles defense is terrible and this team will constantly need to put up points to stay in games this season. Give me a receiver in that offense any day.

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2013 Fantasy Football Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups

September 17, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Week two on the fantasy football waiver wire presents some intriguing options. Wide receivers continue to dominate the fantasy points and there are a couple of interesting possibilities out there as well as a couple of familiar names at QB.

Quarterbacks

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs – Smith is a really funny fantasy QB. No matter how well Smith plays, fantasy owners refuse to touch him. It generally takes about 5-6 weeks of consistent play for anyone to bite. Here is the deal. Smith is a very good fantasy QB playing for a head coach that loves, did I say loves, to throw the ball. He has thrown two TDs in each of his last two games and he is playing an Eagles team that have given up five TDs in two games. Smith could be a brilliant add and play this week if you are struggling at QB.

Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers – Rivers is back! He is fourth in standard scoring leagues right now among QBs. Now is this a case of a guy playing terrible defenses or is Rivers back to Pro Bowl form? Yes he played the Eagles but he also put up 4 TDs on the Houston Texans who were ranked first coming into the year. Rivers has enough of a pedigree that I know this is probably not just a guy getting hot. The lack of weapons scares me but right now you have to ride the wave if he is available.

Running Backs

James Starks, Green Bay Packers – Starks is the hot waiver wire add this week which is a good and a bad thing. The bad news is that you probably need to be one or two on your wire order to get him. The good news is there are a few great wide receivers out there that may fall to you because of the Starks hype. Now if you have Eddie Lacy, Steven Jackson, or MJD I’d certainly do my best to get Starks. Otherwise I’d pass. Lacy will be back the following week and Starks will be irrelevant. Handle with care.

Note: I could throw a few other names in here simply because guys are hurt (ex: MJD) but honestly I don’t think any of those backups are good pickups. It’s easy to run and grab someone because he is a starter but you have to look deeper into it. I don’t see any of those other popular suggestions in Week 3 worth your spot.

Wide Receivers

Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers – I am still not convinced whether Royal is fool’s gold or the real deal. It is hard to read much into his superb performance in Philadelphia when you consider the fact that he was playing what could be the worst defense in the NFL. At the same time you can’t ignore his first two weeks. He doesn’t get the ball much but when he does it’s usually in the end zone. At this point I am at least intrigued enough to grab him if he fell to me on the wire. Rivers appears to have snapped out of his funk and is back to throwing plenty of TDs. That can only mean more opportunities for Royal.

Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans – I liked Wright a lot coming into the season but I’ll be honest. Jake Locker scares me. He just isn’t that good. However, he is still serviceable and I am looking simply at the matchup here. The Titans have a Chargers team this week that have been shredded by receivers in the first two games. I see no reason Wright can’t have a big day here and in subsequent weeks. I see Wright purely as a matchup guy.

DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans – Well hello DeAndre Hopkins! Andre Johnson left the game Sunday and Hopkins became Matt Schaub’s go-to guy. This is a guy that needs to be owned if you can get him. I heard a lot of rumblings about him in the offseason and it appears there is plenty of substance to those reports. Johnson is always in and out of games so I wouldn’t worry about him cutting into Hopkins’ production much throughout the year.

Tight Ends

Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins – Clay is another name that has gotten hot this week in waiver wire adds. The goalline carry was absolutely huge. If you can have a tight end in your lineup that is getting goalline scores you are probably winning most of your matchups at that position. I know a lot of people are buzzing about this Dolphins offense right now, but I am not sold. There are plenty of good tight ends to go around but there is only one I know of getting goalline carries.

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2013 Fantasy Football Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups

September 10, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

The Fantasy Football 2013 season started off with a lot of scoring from tight ends and wide receivers. Quite a few of those scoring players remain undrafted free agents available for you savvy players on this week’s waiver wire.

Week 1 was full of surprises. One huge surprise in my opinion was the lack of production from running backs. There were only a handful of 100 yard rushers although you had TDs from plenty. There also aren’t a lot of opportunities for backs on the wire unless you want to cute and that’s not my style. The biggest surprise to me was the production from tight ends. Is it a sign of the times or a coincidence on week 1? Time will tell but you don’t have much time to get these guys on your bench.

A piece of advice I always offer friends during the first few weeks is to not grab anyone if you don’t have any specific needs. There are always players in your league who lose their first few games and drop studs in a panic. I have picked up some real gems in recent years thanks to players who had no patience or overreacted. There are some nice players here but if you are 1-0 and have good depth, take a pass and keep a keen eye on who is being dropped. You may be surprised.

Quarterbacks

Terrell Pryor, Oakland Raiders - Here is the thing about Terrell Pryor. He has talent and the Raiders don’t have much to offer on offense these days so they are going to rely on Pryor to use his legs. He did and put up terrific numbers in a losing effort. The other thing you have to remember is that teams will sleep on the Raiders. They will surprise some people and Pryor will get his yards on the ground. The kid is quick and a lot less disciplined than most running QBs which bodes well for fantasy.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals - I have been fooled by Carson Palmer many times over the years so take him at your own risk. The upside here is he has a lot of weapons at wide receiver and like the Raiders, teams will be sleeping on the Cardinals early on. Bruce Arians is as aggressive as it gets through the air and that makes Palmer a nice grab this week.

Wide Receivers

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots - I am stacked at wide receiver but I am going to put in a claim for Edelman. Amendola is playing hurt and Gronkowski is going to get a lot of attention when he comes back. He played 83 snaps on Sunday so if he’s healthy, he’ll get plenty of opportunities. Brady was looking for Edelman quite a bit and I think he has the potential to have a monster season.

Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals - Roberts probably isn’t available but he belongs on the wire anyway. Roberts was a waiver wire recommendation last year that fizzled out quickly. The big difference here is he has a decent QB throwing the ball in Arizona for once. I wouldn’t expect Roberts to put up the numbers he did on Sunday but he could be a real nice matchup guy.

Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins - So much for Mike Wallace cutting into Hartline’s numbers right? I was never a Hartline believer but it is hard to ignore the chemistry between him and Tannehill. I am a believer in the offense and I think it will get better this year. I could see Hartline having a nice WR 2/WR 3 year for owners.

Tight Ends

Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos - You’d probably have to be the worst player in your league to get him because I can’t imagine anyone not putting in a claim for him. This guy is the real deal! Thomas had a monster game on Thursday night and I’d look for that continue throughout the season. We all know about Manning’s history with tight ends so this shouldn’t be much of a shock. Thomas isn’t a one-season wonder either. He has the tools and skills to remain productive as long as he has Manning or a decent QB throwing his way. I’ll say it now. He’ll be the waiver wire pickup of the year!

Kellen Winslow, New York Jets - Fool me once shame on you, fool me a dozen times… that is the general theme of players who get enamored with Winslow. I think he is the real deal this year. I watched quite a bit of the Jets game and I noticed that Geno Smith looked for Winslow every time. He did it in the preseason, he is doing it now, Winslow is his security blanket and that isn’t going to change.

Running Backs

Joique Bell, Detroit Lions - The thing with Bell is he probably isn’t available but if he is you have to grab him. He’ll be a goal-line option and let’s be honest. How often does Reggie Bush finish a season without an injury? He had 21 carries in week 1 so this isn’t a RB they plan on letting ride the bench. He’ll get his chances and in this offense those will be plenty and fruitful.

Andre Brown, New York Giants - If you have an I/R spot and are in good shape I’d certainly take a flyer on him. I can’t imagine Coughlin trusting David Wilson at the goal-line when Brown is back. Brown was a points machine last year in limited appearances at the goal-line. I took Percy Harvin with my last pick and have him in my I/R. If I didn’t Brown would be my guy.

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