Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week 11 Pickups

I'm going to sound like a broken record, but another week, even more injuries. This time, the breakout star RB Mike James went down with a fractured ankle in Monday Night Football. He is likely out for the rest of the season. His direct backups are Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey. Of the two back, Rainey appeared to be more impressive, averaging more yards per carry and catches out of the backfield. Leonard received more carries overall however. It will be difficult to say whether either back has the nod over the other, but I would lean towards betting on Rainey.

We also saw the first good game in Mark Ingram's career. This can be tempered on the fact that it was the Cowboys banged up defense and New Orleans was gashing their defense all day. He is worth a speculative add, however, as he could be more productive that Pierre Thomas.

Andre Brown already will be gone. If you are only reading this now, you should have listened a month ago when I told you to pick him up. Shane Vereen is also coming back this week. He should be competing with Stevan Ridley for the starting RB at New England. It may be too late to pick him up as well.

Riley Cooper followed his 3 TD performance up with a 2 TD game against Green Bay. Everyone else is really high on him right now, but I'm not. To me, the 3 catches for 102 yards puts him in the range of a Kenny Stills type of player. He can break open, but he is still a boom or bust player.

Rishard Matthews is actually the more intriguing wide receiver. He played a break out game for Miami on MNF, but you still have to realize that Mike Wallace has Darrelle Revis on him the entire game. Still the 11 receptions for 120 yards and 2 TDs can't be ignored. He may put up the best numbers for the rest of the year between him, Wallace, and Brian Hartline. Miami will need to throw the ball as well since they absolutely can't run the ball.

If anyone dropped Jarrett Boykin after his dud of a performance last week, pick him up. Seneca Wallace got injured and Green Bay upgraded to his backup Scott Tolzien, who didn't have any trouble finding Boykin for 8 rec and 112 yards.

Nate Burleson is going to come back next week. There isn't a whole lot of buzz around this, but there should be as he will instantly be an upgrade at WR2 for the Detroit Lions. They desperately need someone to catch the ball when Calvin is double teamed and other teams are wising up to the Reggie Bush screen passes. The main problem is that Burleson is more of a yardage player and not much for grabbing TDs.

Jake Locker is out for the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick did admirably in his place if you need a replacement at QB. Jay Cutler re-injured himself as well and Josh McCown is probably a top 15 QB for next week.

Week 11 Defense and Kickers

Most people were unlikely to drop Steven Gostkowski; but if anyone did, he would be the first person to pick up. Nick Folk (NYJ) and Ryan Succop (KC) are both coming off of the bye weeks and both have been doing well over the past month. Either one of them would be a good play for this upcoming week. Nick Novak will also have some good match ups over the last portion of the FFL season.

As far as Defense/Special Teams is concerned, it is pretty sparse for Week 11. Most people should have already picked up Carolina or Arizona; nobody dropped KC. Green Bay and Chicago are both injured/ineffective. New England, New Orleans and Denver all have bad match ups.

If you want a speculative bet, you can try either side of the New York Jets vs Buffalo match up. If you are looking ahead to next week, take Houston, who is playing Jacksonville next week and has a decent match up against Oakland this week.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 10 Pickups

Another week, more injuries. I'm writing this during Monday Night Football and I'm watching Aaron Rodgers leave the game with an injured non-throwing shoulder. (And all I needed was 6 points to win this week - expletive deleted!) Well, fortunately Nick Foles was available on the waiver wire. He will probably be starting for the foreseeable future for the Eagles after his 7 TD performance at Oakland. He has a couple of good match ups in the next few weeks (at Green Bay and home against Washington).

If you need a plug and play quarterback and Foles isn't available, you can try either Jake Locker, who plays Jacksonville at home next week, or you can try Eli Manning, who is playing at home against an Oakland defense that got torched for 7 TDs.

Case Keenum may be another option, as he has proven that he will throw it deep; if Houston's RB situation doesn't improve, he'll need to keep doing this. Jay Cutler may also be back next week. You may want to pick him up if he is available. Big Ben also had himself a day against the New England defense; I'm not sure if this is a good sign or a sign of a bad defense.

Running Back Pickups

Speaking of injuries, the brittle back known as Darren McFadden pulled his hamstring in the same spot as Week 4. A re-aggravation of a hamstring injury is almost always a multi-week injury. This means that Rashad Jennings should be picked up if he was dropped in your fantasy league.

If anyone gave up on Chris Ivory, you need to pick him up off of waivers. The Jets RB is always going to be a risk, however, when the Jets fall behind in games.

At first, I was skeptical of getting Jonathan Stewart because of the jumble in the Carolina backfield. However, he should start to get more carries than DeAngelo Williams. Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert will snipe a large percentage of the rushing TDs, however.

There are also some quality backup RBs that might be available. Shonn Green will start to get more carries in games that CJ starts to struggle and he should get the majority of goal line carries. James Starks will also start to get more carries, especially if Aaron Rodgers is out for a couple of weeks.

If you haven't picked them up yet and they are still available, you have to pick up Andre Brown (NYG) or Shane Vereen (NE). I've mentioned this several times, but they are both going to be viable fantasy running backs.

Wide Receiver Pickups

Aaron Dobson is going to be the hot wide receiver pickup of the week, even though New England is on a bye next week. Right now, he is lining up on most offensive plays and will be the number 3 option behind Gronk and Danny Amendola. Kenbrell Thompkins was a healthy scratch this past week.

Doug Baldwin is going to be the 2nd best WR pickup this week. Percy Harvin isn't 100% and Sidney Rice is on the IR. Baldwin has gotten more production than Golden Tate this past weekend.

If you are desperate, you can pick up Riley Cooper or Jerricho Cotchery. I wouldn't recommend starting either, however, as both 3 TD performances are unlikely to be duplicated.

If you are that desperate, you may want to pick up Mario Manningham. The 49ers have activated him off of the PUP list and he should be installed as a starter very soon. Of course, the 49ers will have to throw the ball in order for him to catch the ball. This would be an upgrade for him and Anquan Boldin. Michael Crabtree will also be coming back in a few weeks. This will muddle up things a bit, but the 49ers may finally be able to release Colin Kaepernick again.

Also, Mike Brown (Jacksonville) is still available in most leagues. The Jags are going to be behind a lot and he should get a lot of looks opposite Cecil Shorts.

If you are in need of a Tight End, you should pick up Tim Wright (Tampa Bay). He is going to be a red zone threat and an outlet for a rookie QB.

Week 10 Defenses and Kickers

If you are looking for a defense this weekend, Tennessee has the dream match up at home against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has given up fantasy points more consistently than any other team this season.

Arizona is the number two option as they are coming off of the bye week. They face Houston at home; the Texans are technically the most friendly offense towards fantasy defenses with all of the pick 6's that they have thrown. This may change with Case Keenum, but Arizona is still a good defense regardless.

Failing those two teams, you may want to (gasp) try the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense. Miami has some well documented problems on their offensive line and have been fantasy friendly even before this bullying incident happened.

If anyone dropped Denver's defense because of the bye week, this would be a good time to try to snatch them up as well.

As for Place Kickers, check to see if anyone dropped Matt Prater for Denver's bye week. Keeping two kickers is rare unless the kicker is on a prolific offense like Denver. David Akers may also be available because of the bye week, but Chicago's stadium is notoriously difficult to kick at. Robbie Gould is also an option as Detroit gives up the most field goals so far this season.

Many of the best match ups feature kickers that are probably off the board right now: Adam Vinatieri, Mason Crosby, Garrett Hartley, Dan Bailey. You may want to try either of the kickers in the Cincy vs Baltimore game (Mike Nugent or Justin Tucker).

Friday, November 1, 2013

Late Breaking News

Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely and will not be eligible to return until the start of the 2014 regular season. This is because of a violation of the league's substance abuse program. This means that he can be dropped from your FFL team.

In his place, you should pick up Mike Brown who is currently the 3rd wide receiver for the Jaguars. He caught 12 passes for 212 yards and 1 TD in the past 3 games. He should be seeing a lot more targets as he gets bumped up to the #2 WR.