Week 16 Pick-Ups

For those of you still in the running this late, congratulations.  However, as we all know, it doesn’t matter how late in the season it is, injuries can happen (like with AP last year in week 16).  If that’s your issue, or other extenuating circumstances have any of your starters out, do not fear I have some week 16 players who are likely still available in your league.

Sam Bradford- QB St. Louis Rams

After making minced-meat of the Vikings 29th ranked fantasy defense versus QBs and their NFL ranked 23rd ranked pass defense (throwing for 377 yards and 3 TDs)  is facing The Bucs this week who are:

  • Ranked last in fantasy vs. opposing QBs, allowing 19.4 ppg
  • Ranked last in the NFL allowing 311 passing yards/game
  • Ranked 30th in the NFL allowing 25 passing TDs this season
  • Owned in 39% of leagues


Cecil Shorts- WR Jacksonville Jaguars

After missing week 14 against the Jets with a concussion, Shorts made owners’ worries a thing of the past as he scored double-digit fantasy points for the 7th time in his last 8 games (including 5 TDs and 4 100-yard games in that span).  In week 16 he faces New England who:

  • Ranked 23rd in fantasy versus opposing WR, allowing 23.3 ppg
  • Have only held WR without a TD 4 times this season
  • Have allowed 30+ points to opposing WR 3 6 times this season
  • Rank 29th in the NFL allowing 270 passing yards/game
  • Have allowed 20 TDs to WR this season
  • Owned in 65% of leagues


T.Y. Hilton- WR Indianapolis Colts

He was on my list last week and he delivered, catching 3 passes for 78 yards and a TD.  The TD catch was his fourth in the last five games, and this week he faces the Chiefs who:

  • Rank 18th in fantasy to opposing WR allowing 20.8 ppg
  • Have allowed 22+ points to opposing WR 8 times this season
  • Rank 23rd in the NFL allowing 25 passing TDs this season
  • Owned in 51% of leagues


Mark Ingram- RB New Orleans Saints

5 out of his last 6 games he has gotten double-digit carries, including a season-high 90 rushing yards and a TD against the league’s leading rush defense (TB) a week ago.  Maybe he hasn’t panned out to what the Saints would hope to be, but as far as fantasy is concerned he’s been decent as of late.  This week he faces Dallas who:

  • Ranks 17th in fantasy allowing 15.9 ppg to RB
  • Have allowed 100+ rushing yards 7 times this season
  • Have only held two opposing RBs to under 10 points
  • Ranked 15th in the NFL allowing 115 rushing yards/game
  • Ranked 20th allowing 12 rushing TDs this season

Vick, Roethlisberger, Smith, and Cutler likely out; who can fill in?

With Vick, Roethlisberger, Smith and Cutler questionable for this weekend, are there QBs out there that you can grab off the waiver wire to help you win week 11?  Yes they’re:

Ryan Fitzpatrick- facing Miami is week 11 who:

  • rank 21st in points  allowed to fantasy QBs (16.3 ppg)
  • Allowed Luck to throw for a rookie-record  433 yards and two TDs in week 9
  • ranked 28th in NFL in pass defense 278 ypg,
  • MIA defense has only 8 INT (tied 15th in NFL)
  • Fitzpatrick is currently 16th QB in fantasy tied with Romo (ahead of Schaub and Eli)
  • Fitzpatrick: tied for 8th in NFL with 17 pass TDs
  • Fitzpatrick is available in 55%of leagues

Sam Bradford-

  • Has his favorite target back in Danny Amendola
  • Threw for 275 and 2TDs against the 49ers in week 10
  • Facing the Jets in week 11 who are tied for 18th with only 7 INT this season
  •  The Jets are also tied for 22nd with only 16 sacks
  • Bradford is only owned 40% of leagues

Carson Palmer– facing New Orleans in week 11 who :

  • Ranks last in fantasy points to opposing QBs (21.4 ppg)
  • 31st in NFL allowing 307 passing yards/game
  • 29th in NFL allowing 19 pass TDs
  • Last in NFL allowing 8.6 yards/attempt
  • last in NFL allowing a long-pass of 95 yards this season (closest is Tampa with 82)
  • Last in NFL allowing opposing QB rating of 104.4
  • tied for 26th in NFL with only 5 INT
  • Palmer is 3rd in NFL with 2,723 passing yards,  and tied for 10th in 15 TDs
  • Palmer is 9th ranked QB in fantasy and 11th fantasy player overall
  • Palmer is owned in 66.8% of leagues

Josh Freeman: Fluke or For Real?


After naming him one of my biggest sleepers of the entire 2012-13 NFL fantasy season, Tampa’s quarterback Josh Freeman has been on a tear as of late.  Since Freeman is generally a back-up in most leagues (owned in 72%, only started in 15% of leagues) many owners are now wondering if they should give him a shot in the starting line-up.  However, before they come to a conclusion on such a question they need to think of one thing, is Josh Freeman for real? Or is this just a fluke?

I am of course referring to Freeman’s play over the last three weeks against the Vikings, Chiefs and Saints

It all started against the Chiefs in week 5, where Freeman threw for 328 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception on 15 of 26 passing.  While the Chiefs team as a whole has been nothing to write home about this year, their pass-defense holds some validity thus far, as they rank 13th in the NFL only allowing 224.5 passing yards/game.

The subsequent week, Freeman exploded against the Saints, out-slinging Drew Brees, as he threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns.  Freeman also managed 13 yards on the ground, and was only sacked twice.

Then this past Thursday, Freeman had his third-consecutive 3-touchdown performance against a solid Vikings defense.    The Vikings rank 12th in the NFL against the pass, 11th in points allowed with 20.8 ppg, and ranked 12th against opposing fantasy offenses.  Yet none of that mattered to Freeman as he threw for 262 yards and three more touchdowns on his team’s way to victory over the Vikings, 38-17.

Nonetheless, can this continue?

Yet, I have a better question, why not?

I believe Freeman is more than capable of continuing to put-up similar numbers throughout the rest of the season.  Maybe he won’t be tossing-up three touchdowns and 300+ yards every game, but there is no reason he can’t be in that ball-park.

Over the next three weeks, Freeman and the Bucs will face the Raiders (22nd in NFL in pass defense 254.7 yards/game , 27th in points allowed/game with 28.5, and aren’t exactly takeaway threats with only 7 takeaways thus far and rank the 30th defense in fantasy) the Chiefs (rank 26th in fantasy, only 6 takeaways as a team so far, and rank 30th in NFL with 30.5 ppg allowed) and the Chargers (rank 25th in NFL allowing 265.8 passing yards/game,  and 16th with 22.8 ppg allowed)

What We Learned In Week 6…

With week 6 now in the books, many things where brought to light during the course of play such as:


Trent Richardson left Sunday’s game with a rib-injury.

During Sunday’s game against the Bengals, Trent left the game with a rib-injury and did not return.  Since Richardson is owned in 100% of ESPN leagues and started in 98.6% of them, many owners where affected by his injury.  However, owner’s stress-level should have come down a little after John Clayton reported that the rookie sensation should play this Sunday against the Colts.  Clayton also reported there was no broken bones, just cartilage damage, and Richardson is day-to-day but is likely to play.

DeMarco Murray left Sunday’s game with a foot-injury.

Amidst a strong game vs. the Ravens, Murray left with a foot-injury, and did not return, leaving Felix Jones to take over in the backfield.  ESPN.com reported that Murray is likely out this upcoming week against the Panthers, and that the team is likely to evaluate him on a week-to-week basis.

If both Murray and Richardson are no-gos this week, look out for:

Felix Jones- why not? He’ll be the only option and after a strong performance last week even when Murray was still in, Jones is likely to get most of, if not all, of the touches.  He also is facing the Panthers in week 7, who has conceded the 27th most point to fantasy RBs with 21.8 ppg.

Vincent Ballard- who? He is Donald Brown’s replacement, with Brown out for another week or two after getting knee-surgery last week.  Though Ballard struggled against the Jets (25 rushing yards and 17 receiving), so did his entire team.  One promising thing is that despite his ineffectiveness, he got the majority of the carries and touches.  This week he faces the Browns who rank 20th vs. opposing RBs in fantasy, and 25th in the NFL, allowing 131.ypg on the ground.

Lewis won’t be making any more tackles like this this season, after a torn triceps will sideline him for the remainder of the 2012-13 season (tigertownson.com)

Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb are out for the season.

These injuries could be detrimental to the Ravens and owners who have them.   Since they are owned in 100% of leagues, that means a lot of owners out there are affected, likely someone reading this.  With the Ravens loosing their leader in Lewis and their top corner in Webb, it might be time to start looking for new defenses to start in week 7 since the Ravens will be taking on the Texans effective offense that ranks 10th in total offesne (363 yards/game) and 5th in scoring with 28.8 ppg.

Other Defenses to look for:

Vikings: Currently a top-10 defense in fantasy and facing the Cardinal’s in week 7, an offense that ranks 30th in the NFL with 283.0 ypg and tied for 26th with 18.3 ppg.

Daryl Richardson is getting more and more action for the Rams

Steven Jackson’s back-up Richardson is getting implemented into the offense more and more as the weeks come. After amassing 99 total yards last week versus the Dolphins, whose run-defense is highly underrated, and rotowire.com reporting that Jackson’s contract has been restructured to let him walk at the end of the season if he wishes, is it possible that Richardson will start seeing even more action?  I believe so, and for those in need of a back-up RB or possible flex in deep leagues, I would recommend scooping Richardson before others become aware of him.

Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers look to be back to normal

After Manning’s neck-surgery, and ranking Rodgers my biggest let-down thus far, these elite QBs look to be back to their old ways.  After 41 points through his first 3 weeks, Rodgers has since scored 89 points in the last three weeks.  He went from #19 QB in fantasy, to now being ranked #2.  He also went from not even being in the top-10 in QB rating, to now being ranked #1.

Manning has also been on a tear since his shaky start versus the Falcons.  After that 3-int performance, in Manning’s last 4 games he has thrown for 1,314 yards in addition to his 11 Tds and 1 int.  During this hot-streak, Manning has moved up the fantasy rankings, now the #3 QB in fantasy football.

Matt Ryan and Kevin Kolb, my week 6 man crushes

One is more obvious then the other.  One has had a great regular season career, while the other has yet to play in more than 9 games in one season. However I love Matt Ryan and Kevin Kolb in week 6 of fantasy football, and here’s why:

Ryan looks to keep his strong play up (blogs.ajc.com)

Matt Ryan:

Ryan, in standard scoring leagues, is currently the second ranked player overall in fantasy, 6 points behind Drew Brees.  He is also second in the NFL in passer rating, third in passing yards, fifth in completion %, and second in touchdown passes.  So why wouldn’t I love him each and every week, and why week 6 more than others?

Well one major focal point in fantasy sports is your players match-up, and this week Ryan’s match-up is a great one facing the Raiders.  The Raiders:

  • ranks 31st in fantasy against QBs, allowing 22.0 ppg
  • rank 25th in overall defense in the NFL, allowing 411.0 ypg
  • rank 28th in pass defense, allowing 283 ypg
  • ranks 30th with 31.5 ppg allowed

Ryan is also playing at home this weekend, where he has been historically good, where through his career,including this season, Ryan has thrown 54 TDs vs. 19 INT

Kolb will look to have a strong week 6, versus a week opponent (doubletakedebate.com)

Kevin Kolb:

Kolb is not your prototypical fantasy stud, however he has somethings working for him entering week 6.  For starters, whether he performs poorly or not, he is going to air the ball out, a lot.  That’s because the Cardinals have no real run-game to speak with Williams and Wells out with injuries for some time.  Kolb also had 7 Tds vs. 2 Int in 4 and a half games this season. It also doesn’t hurt that he is still throwing to Larry Fitzgerald, and the emerging Floyd and Roberts.  Also, like Ryan, Kolb’s match-up this week is a dream-come-true for owner sof Kolb as he faces the Bills who:

  • rank last in points allowed to opposing QBs (22.8 ppg)
  • rank 24th in the NFL in passing yards allowed/game with 277 yards.
  • ranks 31st in the NFL in total defense, allowing 449.4 ypg
  • rank 31st in NFL allowing 35.2ppg

Week 6 Fill-Ins for bye-weeks and injuries

Alex Green is not well known now, but that could change in the fantasy world soon (gridironfan.com)

Entering the sixth week of fantasy football, injuries and bye-weeks are starting to take effect.  That being said many owners will spend time scouring the waiver-wire, looking for that fill-in player.  To save you the time and frustration, I have compiled a list of the top players that are likely available in your league.


Ryan Fitzpatrick (owned in 57% of ESPN leagues)-

  • currently the 13th ranked QB
  • 3rd in NFL with 12 TD passes
  • averages 15.2 ppg (standard scoring)

Kevin Kolb (owned in 16% of leagues)

  • 7TDs and 2 INT thorugh 4 and a half games
  • facing Buffalo in week 6, who allows the most points in fantasy vs. opposing QBs (22.8 ppg)

Christian Ponder (owned in 27.8% of leagues)

  • 6 TDs 2 INT
  • Ability to scramble, with 1 rushing TD and averages over 5 ypc on 18 attempts
  • 1,082 passing yards through 5 games (1,853 in 11 games last year)
  • Facing Washington in week 6, who ranks 28th in points allowed to opposing QBs (19.6 ppg)


Alex Green (owned in >1% of leagues)

  • With Cedric Benson out, Green in the new back in Green Bay
  • With Rodgers uncharacteristically
  • With Rodgers uncharacteristically struggling, Green could help take pressure off
  • rushed for 55 yards on 9 carries a week ago

William Powell (owned in >1% of leagues)

  • Will split carries with Smith and Stephens-Howling now that Wells and Williams are out
  • Facing Buffalo, who allows 25.4 ppg to opposing RB
  • With limited tape on him, Buffalo will have a tough time preparing for him


Rueben Randle (owned in 38.4% of leagues)

  • 6 receptions for 88 yards in season debut last week
  • Nicks out, Bennett banged up, and Barden hurt too, Randle’s role could be big once more
  • 9 targets last week


Kyle Rudolph (owned in 50.8% of leagues)

  • 9th ranked TE in fantasy
  • averaging 7.6 ppg
  • tied for 3rd in NFL with 4 TDs
  • Facing Washington in week 6, who allows 11.2 ppg (31st in fantasy)


Miami Dolphins (owned in 4.2% of leagues)

  • 9th ranked defense in fantasy
  • averages 8.8 ppg
  • Faces St. Louis who has NFL’s 28th ranked total offense averaging 278 ypg
  • St. Louis also averages 19.2 ppg (23rd in NFL)

Reggie Bush and C.J. Spiller hurt, Who’s left?

Spiller walking off of the field after injuring his shoulder against the Browns (CBSsports.com)

After both C.J. Spiller and Reggie Bush went down with injuries last Sunday, owners everywhere where in a state on panic.  As far as Reggie Bush is concerned, there is no structural damage, and according to James Walker of ESPN.com, Bush might actually play this week, but it’s not a definite.  C.J. Spiller on the other hand, is out indefinitely for 1-2 weeks.  With these two leading the way for fantasy running backs, who can owners look to to fill their spots for week 4?

Mikel Leshoure– It’s obvious the Lions are over Kevin Smith, as evidence by his 0 touches last week, while Leshoure had 30 (26 rushes and 4 catches) for over 130 total yards and a touchdown.  I am not predicting similar numbers week in and week out, however he seems to be their new go-to guy.  Also, the Lions need the presence of a run-game if they want Stafford and the team as a whole to have another successful season, because at this pace they won’t.  He is a hot commodity now, so get him while you can, he is currently owned in 37% and started in 6% of ESPN leagues, and started in 24% of yahoo leagues.

Jacquizz Rodgers– Although Turner keeps finding his way into the end-zone, it’s clear he is on the downward swing of his career.  Rodgers, owned in 9% of leagues, keeps finding a way to insert himself into the Falcons high-powered offense.  He’s extremely versatile with the catching ability, speed, and elusiveness, all things that make him a sleeper fantasy candidate.  His production does seem to be increasing, and as long as that offense stays hot, he will start collecting more and more points.
Some Deeper Finds:

Tashard Choice: With Spiller out and Jackson likely to play (but still not 100%) Choice is a nice pick-up for owners who either Bills running back.  Last week, after Spiller went down, Choice had 99 total yards on 22 touches.  Even if Jackson does come back, expect Choice to do some damage himself.

Lamar Miller: With Bush questionable, and Thomas giving away a crucial fumble, Miller is not as bad an option as you may think.  Playing in two games this season, Miller has rushed 19 times for 113 yards and 1 touchdown.  Miller has shown that he deserves to be in the rotation.  It’s also worth noting that Bush has had a history of injuries, therefore Miller is not a bad pick-up and bench for now type of guy either.