Category:Fantasy Football
Posted on: September 22, 2011 8:23 am

Week 3 Fantasy Fooball Sleepers

If one of your normal starters is injured or facing a tough match up, here are some players you might consider starting in their place. While these players may not be every week starters, they are good bets to perform well this week.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF

Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills take on the New England Patriots in week three. Fitzpatrick has gotten off to a red hot start to the season, throwing for seven touchdowns and only one interception through the first two games. The Bills have shown confidence in Fitzpatrick, allowing him to use Steve Johnson, David Nelson, and Scott Chandler to get off to a great start to the season. The Bills threw the ball 46 times in week two against the Raiders, and may need to air the ball out again this week to keep up against a seemingly unstoppable New England Patriots offense. As good as the Patriots have looked on offense, their defense (in particular their secondary) has struggled through the first two games of the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to exploit the Patriots secondary if the Bills have any hope of winning a shootout against New England. Fantasy owners should insert Ryan Fitzpatrick into their lineups and can expect 225 passing yards and a couple touchdowns from the Bills starting quarterback.

QB Kevin Kolb, ARI

Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in week three. Kolb has gotten off to an excellent start to the season, throwing for at least 250 yards and two touchdowns in each of the Cardinals' first two games. Kolb should continue his hot start this week against the Seahawks. Another encouraging sign for Kolb and his fantasy owners is that the chemistry between him and Larry Fitzgerald seems to be improving with Fitzgerald catching seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown in week two. Kolb will continue to put up good fantasy number as long as he relies on Fitzgerald throughout games. Fantasy owners can start Kevin Kolb this week and can expect at least 200 yards and one touchdown from the Cardinals starting quarterback.

RB Dexter McCluster, KC

Dexter McCluster and the Kansas City Chiefs travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers in week three. McCluster was expected to be a niche player for the Chiefs this season, but he will be thrust into an important role in the Chiefs offense following the season ending injury to Jamaal Charles. While McCluster will not be asked to be the only replacement for Charles, he is much more exciting and unpredictable compared to Thomas Jones. Jones will probably handle most of the inside running, while McCluster will run outside and catch the ball out of the backfield. McCluster has a better chance of having a big game this week as the Chiefs will likely be trailing early against the Chargers. The Chiefs will have to pass the ball extensively to keep the game close in San Diego, and since the passing game better suits McCluster, he will probably play a bigger role in the game than Thomas Jones. Fantasy owners can claim McCluster off their waiver wire and can expect 75 total yards and a touchdown from the exciting second year player.

RB Willis McGahee, DEN

Willis McGahee and the Denver Broncos travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans in week three. McGahee is coming off an impressive game against the Cincinnati Bengals in which he ran for 101 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries. While his yards per carry average was not great, he was able to help the Broncos control the time of possession, and eventually led the Broncos to a victory. McGahee will likely have another opportunity to prove his worth to the Broncos this week, with Knowshon Moreno unlikely to play for the second straight week. Even if Moreno does return, he will likely not be at full strength as he is attempting to return from a hamstring injury. Fantasy owners can start Willis McGahee as a flex play this week and can expect 75 total yards and one touchdown from the Broncos running back.

RB Daniel Thomas, MIA

Daniel Thomas and the Miami Dolphins travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns in week three. Thomas had an impressive NFL debut in week two, rushing for 107 yards on 18 carries, while adding one reception for ten yards after returning from a preseason hamstring injury. Thomas played more snaps, and touched the ball more than Reggie Bush, giving fantasy owners of Thomas hope that he will continue to be the head of the running back committee in Miami. Reggie Bush will still be heavily involved in the Miami offense, but mostly as a receiving option out of the backfield. Thomas should be the Dolphins' early down back, giving him an edge over Bush going forward. Fantasy owners can start Daniel Thomas and can expect 70 yards and a touchdown from the rookie running back in week three.

WR Robert Meachem, NO

Robert Meachem and the New Orleans Saints face the Houston Texans at home in week three. Meachem got off to a good start to the season by catching five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown in week one, but followed that up by catching four passes for only ten yards, and one touchdown against the Bears in week two. The good news for Meachem owners is that he is being targeted as much as any other Saints wide receiver, and this will continue as long as Marques Colston and Lance Moore remain out. The Saints and Texans both have high powered offenses and this game should be high scoring, making almost all skill position players in this game good fantasy options. Fantasy owners can expect a game similar to Meachem's week one numbers, with five receptions for 70 yards and one touchdown.

WR David Nelson, BUF

David Nelson and the high flying Buffalo Bills offense will take on the New England Patriots in week three. Nelson is coming off a career best game in which he caught ten passes for 83 yards and one touchdown in a shoot-out win over the Oakland Raiders. The Bills will likely be involved in another high scoring game this week against a Patriots offense that looks unstoppable so far this season. The Bills are going to have to throw the ball to keep up with the Patriots, making Nelson a good candidate for another breakout game. The Patriots have looked shaky in the secondary the first two weeks, allowing big games to both Chad Henne and Phillip Rivers. Fantasy owners who are looking for a good spot start at the wide receiver position this week can pick up David Nelson off their waiver wire and can expect five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown from the Bills slot receiver.


Posted on: September 17, 2010 3:14 pm

Waiver Wire

Truism of fantasy football: every year there are players that will not be drafted in a fantasy football draft but will emerge off the fantasy football waiver wire to be solid additions for a fantasy football team, sometimes exploding to stud status. Good work on the waiver wire involves knowing who is low on the radar just before their stock goes through the roof. Word of caution: While a quick trigger in the free agent market can make a bad team good, it can also make a good team bad. Before just adding the players listed below to your roster, here are a few guidelines to help ensure that the former happens rather than the latter.

1. Do not just randomly pick-up a player or drop a player solely based on the information given below use some discretion as the quality of the player varies from league to league due to the size and scoring system of each league. In addition, team needs vary from fantasy team to fantasy team, so some discretion can go a long way. The list posted below is to bring some players to your attention and give you a comment or two regarding their possibilities.

2. Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to drop any player you drafted in the first ten rounds of your draft in the first few weeks. Be patient, particularly with wide receivers as they are very inconsistent in most scoring systems, posting a horrible week one week and then backing it up with a good performance in the following week.

3. Be quick to grab running backs, especially as new starters are announced or as players emerge with huge games. This does not mean dropping a traditionally good player in order to pick up one of these running backs, but if you have an extra D, TE, or even a lower tier WR, it is probably in your best interest to drop one of them and take a chance.  RBs are in high demand and almost always carry value provided they are a primary back for a NFL team.
Posted on: September 15, 2010 6:13 pm

What are the rules of trash talk?

Wilfred Winkenbach created fantasy football. He set the rules for engagement. Check out this funny video:
Posted on: August 26, 2010 2:32 pm

Winning Your Fantasy Football League

I don't proclaim to be a fantasy football expert, but I have a system that works. I'm only in two paid leagues, and I won both leagues last year. The previous year, I took 2nd place in one league and 1st in the other. Fantasy football has become a nice way to generate some extra revenue for The Daniel.

Lots of people think they know how to win at fantasy football, but most of them are full of malarkey. They draft their teams based of off the previous season and whatever nonsense they read in a magazine, or on a blog. I've come up with a system that puts your fantasy  team in a really good position to win it all. It's all about data.

Forget projections and overall position lists! All you need to focus on is the draft averages. If you do enough mock drafts, and study the draft average sheets from CBS and ESPN, you will be fine! Most people don't take the time to study the draft averages, so what happens is they draft players out of position. That messes up their team, because they miss out on other valuable players.

You should know where to grab each one of your position players, based on the data you collect. In a 17 round draft, you should know which players you can get in each of the 17 rounds. Make a list of a few RBs, WRs, QBs, and TEs that you can get, and what their draft average is. This will be your draft guide. When it's your turn, look at the players you have selected for each round and draft according to your teams needs.

Having a draft grid based on average draft position will also show you when valuable players slip into the later rounds. Further, it will prevent you from drafting a guy too early.

The numbers don't lie. If a guy is being drafted 87th overall, there is a reason for it. Don't be that guy to reach for him in the 4th round, when you could have taken him in the 7th or 8th.

You might think that this system is moronic, but it has worked for me the last 2 years. Before that, I was drafting like everyone else and I didn't prepare very much. I thought I knew a lot about football, and drafted players based on the top 200 list and my gut feelings. Using a draft average grid will put your team into the championship game...or pretty close to it.

Aside from that, make sure you load up on RBs and WRs in the middle surprise there. I don't carry a backup DEF or TE. Also, this may be obvious, but take the kicker in the last round!

I hope this helps with your upcoming drafts!

Posted on: August 11, 2010 8:21 am

Fantasy QB Ratings by DC

FFB a few years ago wasn’t the same as it is now. People would never think of drafting a QB in the first round. In most 12 team drafts, 4 or 5 QBs will be off the board by the end of the 2nd round. They outscore every position player in leagues where passing TDs are worth 6 pts and you they get 1 pt for every 20 passing yards. It is very important to have a QB that you can leave in every week and know that he is going to get you about 15 to 20 pts. This is how I see the fantasy QB rankings playing out...

1. Drew Brees, NO: With all the hype surrounding Rodgers people want to bypass the man who has dominated the fantasy landscape for the last 3 years at the position. Not me, Madden curse and all... Bye Week: 10

2. Peyton Manning, Ind: This is the best QB in the league in reality and the second best for fantasy. Grab him next. Bye Week: 7

3. Aaron Rodgers, GB: Last year he scored more fantasy points than any other QB. I expect a nice season for Rodgers. Bye Week: 10

4. Matt Schaub, Hou: Really stepped up last year as he led the league in passing yards. He has the best WR, Andre Johnson, in the game so as long as he is healthy he should continue to wreck shit. Bye Week: 7

5. Tom Brady, NE: Say what you want about the man but when it comes to fantasy he produces. I don't think he will miss a beat with Welker possibly missing a portion of the season as Edelman proved to be capable in the same role. If Welker is ready by week one, Tom Brady could be a top 3 fantasy QB. Bye Week: 5

6. Tony Romo, Dal: I hope this ranking is way off but sadly the guy does perform well during the season. If you can swallow your pride he might just win you a fantasy championship. Take solace in the knowledge he won't ever win a real one. Bye Week: 4

7. Brett Favre, Min: John Madden's player of the game every game. The old man still performs like a monster and when he comes back will continue to rack up the points. The ankle is fine. Bye Week: 4

8. Philip Rivers, SD: Jackson holding out/being suspended for 3 games might hurt his value a little but I don't think enough to drop him any lower this spot. He has plenty of weapons and should continue airing it out. Bye Week: 10

9. Jay Cutler, Chi: Yes he is going to throw a lot of INTS, but he will throw a bunch of TD's too and with Mike Martz there Chicago will become a pass first offense. The report out of camp is that Hester is really starting to click with Cutler. Bye Week: 8

10. Joe Flacco, Bal: Yes I know Baltimore likes to run except if you have one of the best pass catching RB's, a new top tier WR, a WR 2 that has surpassed 1000 yards in 4 out of the last 5 years, invested heavily in a couple of young pass catching TE's, and have an aging defense that is solid but no longer shut down, you might pass a bit more. Flacco is a great value pick that you can snatch up in the 5th or 6th round! Bye Week: 8

11. Eli Manning, NYG: Their run game is not the same and the penchant to throw more will probably remain since they have a young but dynamic receiving corp.You could do a lot worse than having Manning as your #1 QB...and you can get him in the middle rounds. Bye Week: 8

12. Kevin Kolb, Phi: They love to throw in the great city of Philly and with a receiving corp that is one of the best 1,2,3 combos in the entire league plus a top tier TE, Kolb's transition to greatness should go smoothly with his first full year starting. There will probably be a few bumps in the road, but I expect big things out of Kolb...not just because I’m an eagles fan. Bye Week: 8

13. Matt Ryan, Atl: A weak and injured running game and a few injuries to himself left Ryan as somewhat of a disappointment last year. Everybody is back and healthy for 2010 so here's to a bounce back. Bye Week: 8

14. Donovan McNabb, Was: The man can still make some plays and even though his receiving options leave a foul taste in the mouth, he will have enough to earn this spot. Bye Week: 9

15. Chad Henne, Mia: Somebody's got a target to throw too. I am high on this guy and think with the addition of Brandon Marshall he's got a shot to be very good over the next few seasons. Marshall made Orton look decent last year... Bye Week: 5

16. Ben Rothliesberger, Pit: The only reason he is this low is because of the fact he will be missing 4 games. His absence will also hurt Ward's, Wallace's, and Miller's overall worth but when he comes back, expect fire like he  showed last season. (His projected points per game,15.54 points, is what ranks him this high) Bye Week: 1,2,3,4,5

17. Matt Stafford, Det: This kid is throwing to a damn Decepticon how can you not like that? They added talent for him to throw to (see Burleson and Best) and he should take a nice step forward this year. Bye Week: 7

18. Carson Palmer, Cin: He has TO and Ochocinco. And he has a legitimate TE for the first time in his tenor as Benglas QB, but these guys have transitioned to a run first team so his bottom line will be limited. (potential sleeper now with the probable suspension of Cederic Benson. They will perhaps air it out a tad more.) Bye Week: 6

19. David Garrard, Jac: This is MJD's team so he is more of a manager then anything. Servicable QB 2. Bye Week: 9

20. Jason Campbell, Oak: Normally going to the blackhole will suck all your fantasy value down but he has worked decently enough with very little before so he will probably remain about the same. The only guy who might get a bump is Zach Miller. Bye Week: 10

21. Matt Cassel, KC: I personally consider this guy a sleeper. He has some receiving talent over in KC and I think with Weis taking over offensive duties we will see him perform a lot better. That being said I will temper my expectations. Bye Week: 4

22. Alex Smith, SF: I don't know what Singletary see's in this guy but he is the starter over in San Fran. I am thinking Gore will be used a ton and break down at some point so Smith might have some late season value. Bye Week: 9

23. Matt Leinart, Ari: I understand that he has the 2nd best WR in the league at his disposal, but he couldn't do anything with him before and I don't think he will be able to do anything with him this time. I expect Derek Anderson to take over at some point but if he doesn't I can't see Leinart finishing better then here. He can’t throw a deep ball...period. Bye Week: 6

24. Vince Young, Ten: Every year the fantasy magazines overrate him and every year he ends up messing up some poor fools entire draft. I won't do that. Tennessee is the Chris Johnson show. Young's just along for the ride. Bye Week: 9

25. Matt Hasslebeck, Sea: We don't even know if he is going to start. He has some slight talent around him but even so he just isn't very good. Expect injuries as well. Bye Week: 5

26.Mark Sanchez, NYJ: I'm not buying him being any more of an impact even with the addtion of Santonio Holmes. if there was a stat for handing off he would be the first guy on this list. Bye Week: 7

27. Kyle Orton, Den:How to install confidence in your QB. Trade up into the first round to grab the most hyped QB in the 2010 draft, trade away your best WR, and draft a WR that wasn't even the best one on the board. Sorry Kyle. He wasn't very good anyway. He would make a great backup QB though! Bye Week: 9

28. Josh Freeman, TB: This kid has some talent. Too bad his team doesn't. Another year to struggle. Bye Week: 4

29. Matt Moore, Car: How to install confidence in your QB, part 2: Tell him and the media for months that he is the man for the job and then draft what many "experts" had as the 2nd best QB in the draft followed by picking another pretty good prospect at QB. Bye Week: 6

30. Jake Delhomme, Cle: I am thinking he will be benched by week 4 in favor of Seneca Wallace but if not here is his bottom line. Bye Week: 8

31. Sam Bradford, STL: Rookie QB with nothing but a dump off back. Steven Jackson could have 300 catches this year. Bye Week: 9

32. Trent Edwards, Buf: He sucks. If you're drafting him you are either in the deepest league ever or you are purposefully trying to tank your team. Bye Week: 6

Posted on: December 28, 2009 10:12 am

Who can we trust?

The holidays are great, because you get to exchange gifts and get some time off from work. With that being said, the best part about this holiday was that I won the championship in both of my fantasy (money) leagues. Nothing is more satisfying that taking money from your friends.

After watching a few of the worst games over one weekend that I can remember in some time, and how it affected the fantasy football world, one thing kept coming to mind: who can we trust in fantasy? I pulled out a win in both of my championship games, but some of my money players weren’t so “money.” Seriously, no one should expect a professional in any vocation to work at peak efficiency 100% of the time, but for a league in which so many "pros" are making more money in one season than many of us will make over the 25-30 years, it would seem that consistency would not be so hard to find. Granted, most of us do not have to: worry about RBBC at our jobs (imagine for a second if lawyers or doctors "shared the load" at their jobs, for example, one lawyer was the opening argument and cross-examination specialist while another one strictly handled closing arguments), face the prospect of the media trying to pull apart your co-workers at every turn or concern ourselves with people at work whose sole purpose is to stop us from doing what we want to do, even if sometimes seems that way.

But getting back to the issue of trust, who makes your list of "trustworthy" players? I decided to investigate this a bit further. Just as in school where 70% is a passing score, winning about 70% of your games during a 13-week fantasy regular season will leave you with a 9-4 record (.692 winning %), which will almost always get you a playoff berth, if not a division title and first-round bye. Using that same rationale, I'm setting the bar at 70% consistency for all fantasy players (or players who are subpar less than 30% of the time) across the board.

This analysis is only for the last two seasons and is simply looking for fantasy players who were subpar less than 30% of the time they took the field. Since the measuring sticks change each year, I cannot give a firm fantasy point average for each position, but rather the "subpar level" that each position recorded that season. I think you'll be surprised by the results.

1.      Aaron Rodgers

2.      Larry Fitzgerald

3.      Wes Welker

4.      Andre Johnson

5.      Dwayne Bowe

6.      Antonio Gates

7.      Tony Gonzalez

Meet your fantasy best friends, the players who over the last two seasons were there for you more often than anyone else. Consider the magnitude of this list for a minute if you would. At QB, you need your fantasy signal-caller to average 200 yards passing and two scores in seven of every 10 games. At RB, the averages are 60 yards and a score. At WR, five catches for 70 yards will do the trick and, at TE, five catches for 50 yards is just about enough. Further consider this list could have been reduced to five if you want to get technical and hold injuries or suspensions against a player. For example, Welker missed a few early games due to injury and Bowe just got done serving a four-game suspension. What's most surprising to me is the fact that not a single RB made the list. Believe it or not, last year's qualifiers were Matt Forte, LaDainian Tomlinson, Steve Slaton, Thomas Jones and Peyton Hillis. (Peyton Hillis, really?!?!?)

Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair at setting the cutoff at 30%. For those of you wanting to know, here is the list of additional players that would make the cut if I raised the bar to 35%:

1.      Drew Brees

2.      Peyton Manning

3.      LaDainian Tomlinson

4.      Adrian Peterson

5.      Chris Johnson

6.      Frank Gore

7.      Steve Smith (CAR)

8.      Vincent Jackson

9.      Brandon Marshall

10.  Dallas Clark

However, if we were to make the cutoff at 40%, we'd also be assuming that 8-5 (.615 winning %) always gets fantasy owners into the playoffs, which it does not. And we all know that somewhere along the way, at least of our opponents will make you their Super Bowl, which shrinks the margin of error even further. Granted, not all of your consistent players are going to hit rock bottom in the same week, so I understand this analysis is a bit lacking in some areas. With that said, it's becoming easier to see why the gap between the #1 team and #10 team is about three games in competitive leagues. We are dealing with a lot of mediocre fantasy players, some much more so than others.

How is this possible? After all, I'm certainly not calling Manning or Chris Johnson mediocre, am I? The answer is no. In psychology, students are often taught that “people are a product of their environment". The same statement applies here as well. Manning, for instance, can blame his knee rehab in 2008 and young WR corps in 2009 for being left off the first list. Johnson was being eased in last year during his rookie season and dealt with a more pass-heavy offensive approach from his offense before the bye in 2009. Steven Jackson's lack of a credible supporting cast recently has made him less consistent than he is capable of while players like Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice are off both lists entirely due to their respective delays to "feature-back" status.

Looking ahead to 2010, you're going to see roughly 10-12 of the 17 aforementioned players go in the first two rounds of fantasy drafts next summer and rightfully so, barring the unforeseen. But some of these players (in particular Bowe, LT, Smith, Gates and Gonzalez) will all be seen as players coming off disappointing seasons and thus will see their stock drop. But should it?

Due to his age and shaky future with his current employer, LT will be a hard sell as anything more than a low-end RB2 next season. Outside of him, I think the other 16 names listed above are players that you definitely can "trust".  I'll project now that if you can kick off your draft with Gore (Round 1), Manning (Round 2), Welker (Round 3), Smith or Bowe (Round 4) and Gonzalez (Round 5) next summer, you will find that you have yourself an incredibly consistent and competent team. The point I want to make here is that in a game like fantasy football that has so many variables contributing to its outcome each week, the goal should be to land as many constants as possible. With 4-5 "constants" making up your nine-man starting lineup, you increase your margin for error significantly, which is a very good thing. Ultimately, the draft only puts you in position to succeed; in-season management takes your team to the playoffs and wins championships. But the path to fantasy success begins by locking up as many constants as you can early on, so you don't leave early-season points (and thus, wins) on the bench and easily identify your team's weaknesses before your competition takes advantage. When an owner can use the waiver wire as a way to supplement their bench as opposed to their starting lineup, then it is quite likely their team is in very good shape.

Let's get back to what makes even the NFL's best players "untrustworthy". Sometimes, the biggest obstacle can be the one group of people that fantasy owners SHOULD be able to count on - coaching. For as much good as the great coaches do for their teams, isn't it amazing how often even they forget their team's identity? If I can say that about the great coaches, what does it say about the average or poor ones? The answer to these types of questions usually can be answered in one of two ways: 1) the GM "hints" who should play and the head coach or coordinators don't feel they has the authority to go against him or 2) the coaching staff, as a whole, are poor talent evaluators who can easily be swayed by a box score or the public. One of my biggest never-to-be-answered questions is: what exactly goes on during an NFL practice? Of course I'm being a bit sarcastic, but I ask because I find it amazing how often players just seem to burst on the scene. Let's examine a few pertinent examples:

  • How is it possible that Miles Austin goes from a part-timer to a player who must be double-teamed in less than a month? Are we to believe that Austin merely flashed in practice, only to become option #1 the same week Roy Williams was sidelined? Of course not.

  • How does Jamaal Charles go from Larry Johnson's part-time sidekick to a poor man's version of Chris Johnson in half a season? Apparently, Johnson had built up so much good will with the new coaching staff that Todd Haley & Co. saw fit to give LJ 132 carries to Charles' 23 prior to the bye (and LJ's subsequent suspension and release). It should also be noted that in standard scoring PPR leagues, Charles somehow still managed to outscore Johnson in three of the Chiefs' first seven games.

  • How does Jerome Harrison post the third-highest rushing total in NFL history one game after getting benched after seven carries? Was Jamal Lewis capable of putting up this kind of performance this year? Not a chance. James Davis may have had a chance if he could have stayed healthy, but Cleveland wasted valuable time - in what we all knew was a rebuilding year - giving Lewis carries when it should have been using that time to figure out if Harrison or Joshua Cribbs were part of the solution in the backfield.

  • Lastly, how is it that Michael Bush has the each of the Raiders' last three 100-yard rushing performances and is often the least used of the three backs? With all three Raiders' RBs - Bush, Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden - all having recorded at least 90 carries this season, isn't it a bit odd that Bush is sporting a healthy 5.0 YPC while the other two backs are each under 4.0 YPC?


Some of you may have a few players YTP, before the championship is decided, but now is the time to start thinking about next FFB season. I already cashed in on both of my leagues, by winning the championships. I won, because I prepared for the draft, starting in April. This is how I won:

League 1:

QB: Matt Schaub

RB: Ray Rice

RB: Knowshon Moreno / LeSean McCoy / Donald Brown / Darren McFadden

WR: Andre Johnson

WR: Chad Ochocinco / Calvin Johnson / Pierre Garcon

TE: Vernon Davis / John Carlson

K: Lawrence Tynes

DEF: Jets / Chargers

League 2:

QB: Matt Schaub

RB: Chris Johnson

RB: Knowshon Moreno / Jamaal Charles / Jonathan Stewart / Darren McFadden

WR: Andre Johnson

WR: Vincent Jackson / Jericho Cotchery

TE: Dallas Clark

K: Nate Kaeding

DEF: Eagles / Saints

Most of the players on my roster were drafted. Some were FA pickups, but most were through the draft. The only trade that I made was in League 1: Hines Ward and Willis McGahee for Knowshon Moreno (in week 6). The main point that I’m trying to make is that you have to study the players and draft guys whom are consistent. Fantasy football doesn’t normally reward risky moves. Doing your homework should prevent you from drafting busts (like Darren McFadden). If you take a couple of busts in your draft, the other reliable players should be able to make up for the few stinkers.

Good luck in 2010, boys.  



Posted on: December 17, 2009 3:11 pm

Unsuspecting Fantasy Studs

This week I'm identifying unsuspecting players who I believe could emerge as the "fantasy stud" for the week. Each player/defense will be owned in less than a third of all leagues. I settled on 33% primarily because I'm working under the assumption that most people don't have the luxury of plucking Jonathan Stewart off the waiver wire at this point of the season.

Jason Campbell (vs. Giants) I won't spend a great deal of time on him. His Week 15 opponent, the New York Giants, is much better than it appears and should be someone to consider for fantasy owners with non-elite QB options. After a great start to the season, the Giants have become a sieve against the pass, allowing the third-most fantasy points/game to QBs over the last three and five weeks. Over the last two weeks, Campbell has turned Devin Thomas into a late-season fantasy option and Fred Davis into a somewhat reliable TE play with scores in three straight games. Defenses still must respect Santana Moss and new starting RB Quinton Ganther showed last week he is a capable receiver as well. So while the black-and-blue reputation of the Giants (and the NFC East in general) may scare off some owners, it should be noted that only Washington has the defense that each of its division rivals envy. Thus, feel free to trust Campbell this week if you felt comfortable with him last week, as I did.

Chad Henne (@ Titans) I'd much rather recommend a Titans' QB here, but Vince Young's hamstring injury makes the thought of playing him or Kerry Collins dicey at best this week. Therefore, I am forced to turn to the other sideline and give a slight nod to the fast-improving second-year Dolphins signal-caller. While Tennessee ranks as the third-most favorable defense for opposing fantasy QBs this season, it has been the sixth-best unit over the last five weeks. While I admit it would take a pretty desperate owner to put Henne in your lineup this week, I certainly would play him over the likes of players such as Josh Freeman or Brady Quinn (perhaps in two-QB leagues) just because of the matchup. Here's why: what the Dolphins lack in terms of quality WRs, they make up for in quantity. Over the last month, Davone Bess has started to emerge as a quasi-WR1 for the team, but in recent weeks, Henne has come to trust Brian Hartline and Greg Camarillo as well. Because Ricky Williams should have a difficult time with Tennessee's eighth-ranked rush defense, Henne will probably be responsible for Miami’s ability touchdowns this week the few times the Dolphins get into scoring position. I don't anticipate much more than 210 yards and a score, but again, he should provide a usable fantasy point total if you find yourself in a truly desperate spot at the QB position.

Arian Foster (@ Rams) You have to hand it to HC Gary Kubiak. When he decides to make a change at RB, he seems to give that back a chance against a team in which he should be able to succeed. What do I mean? When Steve Slaton lost his fifth fumble of the season in Week 8, Kubiak turned to Ryan Moats against Buffalo's league-worst rushing defense (at the time) and he promptly went off for 151 total yards and three scores. With any luck, Part 2 of this drama may be coming just in time for desperate fantasy owners as the coach is "fixing to pick it up big-time for Foster" with a contest on deck against the 28th-ranked rush defense of the Rams in Week 15. With Slaton on IR, Chris Brown had been named the de facto starter, but that seemed like a place-filler move for Kubiak, and after three carries in Week 14, that appears to be the case. Of course, as luck would have it, Moats apparently picked up on a bit of his predecessor’s ball-handling issues (fumbling for the second time in three games of which he has played and contributed to the box score). On a team that has shuffled through its backs like Houston has this season, nothing is set in stone and certainly Kubiak isn't the most committed coach when it comes to sticking with the run or a particular RB for that matter, so he's certainly a gamble at this point of the season. However, the matchup is so juicy and Foster's pedigree is good enough - especially for an undrafted free agent - that I would be willing to roll with him over several established starting NFL RBs this week.

Kevin Faulk (@ Bills) If there is a Rodney Dangerfield (someone who gets no respect, for the younger crowd) among likely free agent RBs available each year, it has be Faulk. PPR leaguers already know Faulk is a great end-of-the-roster filler, but he has always been a RB that has gotten the most out of his limited touches. We all know the drill with Patriots RBs (and last week's 38 carries by New England RBs was definitely a one-time deal), but if there has been one constant over the years with the Pats’ runners, it has been Faulk. His chances of putting a huge number in your fantasy box score are extremely remote from week-to-week, but at this point of the season, fantasy owners are quite often searching for a RB who won't hang them with a bagel (right Chris Brown?) or near bagel (are you listening, Jerome Harrison?); this from supposed starters on players' real teams. (For what it's worth, I don't hold Brown or Harrison near as accountable for last week's sorry performances as I do their coaches, but I digress.) The Bills and their fifth-ranked pass defense are next on the schedule for the Patriots and given the state of New England passing game right now - more specifically, the fact that Bill Belichick revealed that Tom Brady was a true game-time decision last week - it may be wise for the AFC East leaders to take the same run-heavy approach they did last week vs. the Panthers' sixth-ranked pass defense. In that scenario, Faulk could push 12-15 touches, which is more than enough for him to put up 75-90 total yards.

Good luck, gentlemen.

Posted on: November 3, 2009 1:53 pm

Fantasy Football: DC's weekly review

This is my first blog posting on CBS, because I just earned AS status. The following is a fantasy football review for week 8.

Texans 31 – Bills 10
After fumbling for the seventh time this season, Steve Slaton was finally benched in favor of Ryan Moats. Moats definitely made the most of his opportunity by gaining 151 total yards along with 3 TDs. Slaton, who only had one rushing yard on the day, won’t be completely removed from the offensive game plan, though his playing time will be significantly reduced in the coming weeks. Moats becomes the hottest waiver wire pick-up of the week and will be a flex option, at worst, over the coming weeks. Matt Schaub didn’t have his best day of the year: 0 TDs and 2 INTs. But he did throw for 268 yards even though his top receiving option, Andre Johnson (6 rec., 63 yards), was playing with a lung contusion and Owen Daniels (1 rec., 22 yards) left with a knee injury in the first quarter. Early reports suggest that Daniels tore a ligament, which would prematurely end his season. Wait for the MRI results before cutting Daniels loose; however, you should definitely start looking for another option at tight end.

Despite T.O. rushing for a touchdown for the first time in seven years, the Bills could not muster any other trips to the end zone as they fell to the Texans. Owens had 68 total yards (29 rushing, 39 receiving), but it was a quiet day for Buffalo’s other offensive stars. Marshawn Lynch had only 43 rushing yards, and Lee Evans only had 29 receiving yards. This was likely Ryan Fitzpatrick’s (117 yards, 2 INTs) last start, as Trent Edwards is expected back after next week’s bye. The fantasy value of Owens, Evans, and Lynch will go up slightly when Edwards returns, but Lynch should be the only Bill you even think about starting until Buffalo can manage to score more than two offensive touchdowns in a game (something they have failed to do in 2009).

Bears 30 – Browns 6
Two things I know about the Bears: they play well at home (3-0), and their stud QB throws a lot of INTs (1 today, 11 on the season). Jay Cutler (225 yards, 0 TDs) handed this game over to the rushing attack as the Bears ran over the Browns for 170 yards. Matt Forte had 90 yards on the ground, 31 through the air, and scored two touchdowns. Devin Hester led the receivers with 81 yards on seven receptions. Second-leading receiver Earl Bennett only had 29 receiving yards and has yet to score a TD this season. At best, he’s a WR4, and that’s only in PPR leagues.

Another game, another dreadful offensive performance for the Browns. There are only three Cleveland players you should even think about having on your fantasy team, and none of them had a particularly good game. Jamal Lewis rushed for 69 yards but hasn’t found the end zone in 360 days…seriously. Mohamed Massaquoi had 2 catches for 28 yards but also lost a fumble. Perhaps the most versatile player in the league, Josh Cribbs, had 51 yards from scrimmage along with 137 return yards.

Cowboys 38 – Seahawks 17
The Cowboys offense appears to be firing on all cylinders, as they have scored 10 TDs over the last three games. For the first time in his career, Tony Romo (256 yards, 3 TDs) has gone interception-free for three games in a row. Miles Austin was their top receiver again, with 61 yards and a score. Not only is he now the #1 receiver in Big D, he is also a fantasy WR1. Roy Williams also caught a TD pass but dropped a couple of easy catches, which drew boos from the Dallas fans. He’s too inconsistent to be a reliable starter at this point. Jason Witten only had 36 receiving yards and failed to get into the endzone for the sixth time in seven games. It’s hard to explain his disappearance in the red zone, but I’m sure one of these weeks he and Romo will hook up for a couple of scores in a game. Witten remains a must-start. Marion Barber had 53 rushing yards and a score, and Felix Jones had 69 yards from scrimmage.

Matt Hasselbeck looked sharp while passing for 2 TDs and 249 yards, but it simply wasn’t enough to keep up with the Cowboys. Nate Burleson had 89 receiving yards and T.J. Houshmandzadeh had 24 yards. But it was the #3 receiver, Deion Branch, who found the end zone for his first score of the season. Injuries have made Branch a shell of his former self and he should not be in your lineup unless you’re desperate. Julius Jones struggled running the ball but still finished with 88 yards from scrimmage; however, he has not scored a rushing touchdown since Week 1.

Rams 17 – Lions 10
Even though this win was over the lowly Lions, St. Louis will gladly take it and avoid going winless as Detroit did last year. Steven Jackson was a beast again with 149 rushing yards and a score. Imagine what he could do with some talent around him. Donnie Avery only had a single reception for 15 yards as Marc Bulger managed to struggle against the worst pass defense in the league. Bulger completed less than 50% of his passes, threw an INT, and did not throw a TD. He is not fantasy material.

Matt Stafford returned from injury with less than glamorous results (168 yards, 1 INT) as he struggled even more than Bulger. However, Stafford has two excuses: one, he’s a rookie; two, he was playing without his favorite receiver, Calvin Johnson (knee). Stafford did score a rushing TD, which salvaged some of his fantasy value. Kevin Smith contributed 94 total yards but had ankle issues throughout the game. He may be limited in practice during the week but should be a go next Sunday.

Ravens 30 – Broncos 7
This was the kind of performance Baltimore needed in order to reassert its claim as a physical team. Ray Rice is becoming the next Maurice Jones-Drew, as he racked up 108 total yards and a score. He’s gone from a flex play at the start of the season, to a RB1 in a few short weeks. Joe Flacco (175 yards, 1 TD) took a back seat to Rice in this game, but he did find Derrick Mason up the seam for a TD. Mason finished with 40 yards on four receptions. Willis McGahee, who exceeded expectations with 7 TDs through the first four games, now has only 8 total yards from scrimmage over the last three games. Not only he is no longer a reliable source of TDs, he is not even a reliable source of yardage. He should be benched until he consistently regains his early-season form.

Faced with an assortment of blitzes, Kyle Orton never hit the groove that he’s found in the first six games of the season. He threw for only 152 yards with no touchdowns. Brandon Marshall only had 24 receiving yards, but he remains a must-start at WR. Someone who is not a must-start is Eddie Royal, who had 10 yards on two receptions. If you take away the New England game, Royal has only 10 receptions for 68 yards on the season. That lack of production should land him deep on your bench. Knowshon Moreno scored the lone TD for Denver but he also lost a fumble. Correll Buckhalter chipped in with 48 total yards but it’s clear he is the #2 back in Denver, though he does have flex potential in PPR leagues.

Colts 18 - 49ers 14
This was one of those tough, gritty games that great teams manage to win, and that’s exactly what the Colts did on Sunday. Reggie Wayne scored Indy’s lone TD, as he shook off last week’s injury to catch 12 passes for 147 yards. The TD was thrown by former high school QB Joseph Addai, who also rushed for 62 yards. Peyton Manning did not throw a TD for the first time since November of last year, but he did throw for 347 yards. Dallas Clark had 99 receiving yards and remains the best fantasy option at tight end this season.

Though Alex Smith lost both games he’s played in this year, he has been an upgrade over Shaun Hill. Smith, who had 198 passing yards and 1 TD, looked often to fellow lineup newcomer Michael Crabtree. Crabtree caught 6 passes for 81 yards but also lost a fumble. Vernon Davis caught another TD pass to give him a league-leading seven on the year. That’s right: Vernon Davis is leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns. Frank Gore proved he’s back to form by rushing for a 64 yard TD. He finished the day with 134 yards from scrimmage.

Dolphins 30 – Jets 25
Though the Dolphins scored 30 points, only one touchdown came by way of the offense. In fact, the offense was pretty much shut down as Miami only gained 52 yards rushing and 52 yards passing. Ronnie Brown had only 27 rushing yards and Ricky Williams had 68 total yards. Joey Haynos scored the lone offensive TD on a pass from Chad Henne (112 yards, 1 TD).

Even with Thomas Jones cracking 100 rushing yards (102) for the third game in a row, and Mark Sanchez throwing for 265 yards and 2 TDs, the Jets could not overcome Miami’s three kick-return TDs (two by Ted Ginn, Jr.). Dustin Keller (8 for 76) and Braylon Edwards (4 for 74) each had a TD grab, and Jerricho Cotchery returned from injury with 70 yards. Shonn Greene, who is now the #2 back with Leon Washington done for the season, disappointed his owners with only 18 rushing yards. He also lost a fumble and did not contribute in the passing game. Greene is not the dual threat that Washington was, but he should be able to provide production through the ground game later this season. If he’s still available in your league, you should pick him up and stash him on your bench.

Eagles 40 – Giants 17
The Raiders loss seems to have re-invigorated the Eagles, as they dominated the Giants in all facets of the game. Donovan McNabb had a stellar game with 240 passing yards and 3 TDs--one each to his top three receivers: DeSean Jackson (3 for 78), Brent Celek (4 for 61), and Jeremy Maclin (4 for 47). With Brian Westbrook out, LeSean McCoy and fullback Leonard Weaver picked up the slack. They each scored a rushing touchdown and McCoy led the way with 82 rushing yards. Weaver had 75 rushing yards on eight carries, but don’t expect this to be a regular occurrence, even if Westbrook misses another game. Weaver had only four rushing attempts coming into this game and is primarily a blocker, with occasional short-yardage opportunities.

The Giants, formerly known as the “Road Warriors”, have now lost their last two games away from Giants Stadium. Eli Manning struggled throughout the game and threw two picks, compared to just one touchdown. You have to wonder if he’s fully healthy from that heel injury he suffered against Kansas City. Manning has thrown 6 INTs over his last three games and if you have another option next week, it may be wise to sit Eli. The Giants will take on the Chargers in Week 9, and San Diego has allowed fewer than 360 passing yards TOTAL over the last three games. They have also picked off four passes and sacked the QB 10 times during that span. Steve Smith had 8 receptions but they only went for 68 yards. Kevin Boss led the way with 70 yards, along with New York’s lone receiving TD. Brandon Jacobs had 107 total yards on the day, and Ahmad Bradshaw, battling a foot injury, had 21 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

Titans 30 - Jaguars 10
Even though Vince Young’s numbers won’t wow anyone (125 yards passing, 1 TD, 30 yard rushing), his mere presence seemed to inspire the Titans to get their first win of the season. Oh, and Chris Johnson had a pretty good day. Johnson had 228 rushing yards and 2 scores. It was Johnson’s career-high in rushing and his second game this year with over 200 yards from scrimmage. Nate Washington caught Tennessee’s lone passing TD and finished with 22 receiving yards.

Not even Maurice Jones-Drew’s Herculean effort could propel the Jaguars to a win. MJD had 2 rushing TDs and 177 yards on only eight carries, to finish with a staggering 22.1 yards per rush. David Garrard struggled mightily against a team that was giving up the most passing yards in the league coming into this game. Garrard threw for only 139 yards, along with 2 INTs. Mike Sims-Walker was averaging 7 receptions and almost 100 yards per game over his last four, but he only came down with two receptions for 9 yards versus Tennessee. Torry Holt didn’t fare much better as he only had 17 yards on two receptions.

Chargers 24 – Raiders 16
It was tougher than expected, but the Chargers got what they wanted: Their thirteenth straight win over Oakland. LaDainian Tomlinson also got what he (and LT owners) wanted: 2 TDs, along with 56 rushing yards. Philip Rivers threw for 249 yards and one score to his favorite target, Vincent Jackson (8 for 103, 1 TD). Antonio Gates had 49 receiving yards and Malcolm Floyd had 64 yards. Floyd started in place of Chris Chambers who has been demoted to the #3 receiver. Though now a starter, Floyd won’t get as many opportunities as you would expect from a typical starter. He is fifth in the Chargers pecking order, behind LT, Gates, Jackson, and Darren Sproles (46 total yards, 1 fumble lost).

JaMarcus Russell barely deserves mentioning, since he isn’t even fringe fantasy material. Justin Fargas scored the only Raiders TD and finished with 79 total yards. Even when Darren McFadden returns, Fargas and Michael Bush will still receive touches, which means fantasy owners will hear the most dreaded of terms: Running-back-by-committee. Zach Miller had 52 receiving yards but should be a starter only in PPR formats because of his lack of scoring opportunities (Oakland only has 6 touchdowns through 8 games).

Panthers 34 – Cardinals 21
With the Panthers rushing for 270 yards, Jake Delhomme didn’t have to do much (7/14, 90 yards, 1 TD). DeAngelo Williams picked up most of his 158 yards between the 20s and Jonathan Stewart cleaned up in the red zone (87 yards, 2 TDs). Steve Smith scored the Panther’s lone passing TD as CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie bit on a pump-fake and Smith sped past him. It was Smith’s first TD of the year and he finished with 56 yards. Despite his QB struggling this year, Smith is too explosive to keep on your bench. He should be started as a WR3 until Delhomme can find his groove, or Matt Moore takes the reins at QB.

In a reversal of last year’s NFC Divisional playoff game, Kurt Warner was the one to throw 5 INTs this time…though a couple of them weren’t his fault. Warner became the first QB to throw at least 14,000 yards for two teams, but I don’t think he will remember that milestone come Monday. None of the Cardinals fantasy receivers got into the end zone, but Larry Fitzgerald led the way in receiving with 66 yards. Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston had 23 yards and 57 yards respectively. Tim Hightower had 96 total yards and a rushing score, and Beanie Wells had 47 rushing yards.

Vikings 38 – Packers 26
“It’s just one of sixteen”…yeah right, Brett. Favre broadcast his emotions, in returning to Lambeau, into 4 TDs (his first 4-TD game as a Viking). Favre is now tied with Matt Schaub for most TD passes (16) and could become the oldest player to win the MVP award. Adrian Peterson was solid both through the air and on the ground as he had 44 receiving yards and rushed for 97 yards with a TD. Percy Harvin (5 for 84), Bernard Berrian (3 for 47), and Visanthe Shiancoe (1 for 12) all caught touchdown passes. Sidney Rice was often double-covered and finished with 40 receiving yards on four receptions.

Imagine how good the Packers could be if they only had a decent O-line. Aaron Rodgers was sacked six times (that’s 14 in two games vs. Minnesota) but still managed to throw for 287 yards and 3 TDs. He also led the team in rushing with 52 yards. Not only do the Green Bay O-linemen struggle to pass block, they struggle to run block. Ryan Grant only had 30 rushing yards and was tackled behind the LOS three times on his 10 carries. Grant has only a single 100-yard rushing game this year, with no multi-score games, but remains a RB2 due to his being one of the few workhorses left in the league. Greg Jennings caught 8 passes for 88 yards and a TD. Those were the most passes he’s caught in a game this year and it was his first touchdown since Week 1. Donald Driver had 63 receiving yards. Driver and Jennings are both must-starts next week vs. Tampa Bay, who has given up 16 receiving TDs this season.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or