2013 Watch List #2

2012 fantasy football watch listWeek 2 is nearly over and we saw some big games on Sunday, close scores and a few upsets. What about the injuries in week 2? If you were bit like I was losing Steven Jackson and Ray Rice then it’s time to look towards the wire. As I already mentioned after week 1 I am not a big fan of building a team from the wire. Never have been, but that doesn’t mean I don’t watch the wire for potential talent or that “diamond in the rough” (like Alfred Morris last year) who bursts onto the stage and carries a team to a potential championship.

This week two players stood out above all the rest. James Starks running in relief of the injured Eddie Lacy turned in a career performance. The other was Eddie Royal for San Diego. He now leads has 5 TDs in two games, equaling his career high. I am not high on either of these players, but I know for a fact these will be two of the most acquired players as we head towards week 3. Here’s a list of the other players to watch after week 2.

QUARTERBACKS
EJ Manuel, BUF 27-39-296-1: In spots starts Manuel might not be bad as a bye week filler. As a rookie, he will still have to overcome poor decisions and mistakes. In Week 3, BUF travels to NYJ.

Alex Smith, KCC 21-36-223-2, 8-57: Smith, now 2-0, was effective and managed the game well vs DAL. Unfortunately many of his passes were short and underneath, rarely looking down field. No INTs thru 2 games adn 4 TDPs. Next week a soft secondary vs PHI.

Philip Rivers, SDC 36-47-419-3: By all accounts Rivers shouldn’t be a FA, but I see him available in 2 leagues. This was a throwback game, as he posted his first 400 yard game since week 5 in 2010. With little in the running game, Rivers has to throw to be successful, but he boasted big numbers against a weak Philly secondary. Still, he lacks weapons in that offense to consistently post strong numbers. Week 3 SD plays TEN.

RUNNING BACKS
Bilal Powell, NYJ 12-52-1, (5)2-22: Powell shouldn’t be hanging around many leagues, but if he is, you might consider him. He out rushed and out carried Ivory and was part of the Jets passing attack. He is a more dynamic player than Ivory

Jaquizz Rodgers, ATL 11-17, (4)4-28: He didn’t really replace Jackson on the ground with a 1.5 YPC. If the injury to Jackson holds him out of Week 3, Rodgers might be a spot start at MIA.

James Starks, GBP 20-132-2, (5)4-36: I just can’t get excited for Starks, as he underperformed last season. I knock this game off to the poor run defense of WAS and the fact GB built a big lead. If Lacy continues to struggle with the concussion, Starks will start week 3 at CIN who held CHI to 81 yards rushing.

WIDE RECEIVERS
Aaron Dobson, NEP (10)3-56-1: With the issues at the WR and TE positions, NEP is still looking for reliable hands for Brady. In his NFL debut, he scored his first TD and while Dobson remains in the game plans for the Hoodie I do believe he is a player to continue watching.

Austin Pettis, STL (11)8-78-1: Rams played from behind much of the game and needed to throw, but it wasn’t Cook on the receiving end. Pettis put together a great game and was a reliable WR for Bradford. Like Dobson, I think Pettis is jsut one to watch right now. Better options out there on the wire.

Harry Douglas, ATL (5)4-43: As expected Douglas played a majority of the game (50 snaps) while White continued to be used as a decoy on Sunday. Douglas still has value moving forward until we see the high ankle of White’s improve.

Eddie Royal, SDC (8)7-90-3: Consider this a career day for Royal, who now has 5 TDs in 2 weeks, which equals his career best from 2009 in DEN. I don’t expect Royal to continue this sort of trend for the Chargers. The injuries to Floyd (yesterday) and Alexander have SD reaching to find consistency at the WR position.

DeAndre Hopkins HOU (13)7-117-1: The concussion of AJ opened the door the rookie Hopkins who was the top target for Schaub in the win over TEN. Caught the game winning TD in OT and posted 117 yards.

Notables: Robert Woods BUF (6)4-68, Santana Moss WAS (5)3-41-1, Marlon Brown BAL (6)4-45-1, Devone Bess CLE (8)5-38

TIGHT ENDS
Charles Clay, MIA 1-1-1 (7)5-109: Clay had 7 targets and broke 100 yards, while getting a 1 yard TD run in MIA’s victory. Don’t look at this to be the standard for Clay in short yardage situations. I still feel there are better options at TE, but Clay could emerge as a bye week filler.

2012 Watch List #7

2012 fantasy football watch listThe Watch List wasn’t published last week, as I was on a bye. I figured if they are good enough for NFL players, I too could slide one in there. It was another long week of of action, as we began on Thursday night. One thing we haven’t been short on this season…injuries. Key players this week Maurice Jones-Drew, Fred Davis, Shonn Greene, Ben Tate and Blaine Gabbert. To go along with the injuries, we did have a few surprise performances as well during week 7 that could have owners running to the wire.

We are now 7 weeks into the NFL and looking at the mid season point of the season. One thing I have noticed is talent starts to thin out the deeper we get into the season. During the draft, some owners (bench allowing) will draft depth in the form of sleepers. Even then some of those players could become possible drop candidates if early season injuries pop right.

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 8 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
John Skelton ARI 25-36-262-1-1
Skelton returns to the helm in Arizona, as Kolb exited stage left last week due to injury. This could be the opening Skelton needs to win the starting job for the rest of the season. Unfortunately he couldn’t put a ‘W’ on the board for the Cardinals, but was effective through the air. Arizona home to SF in week 8.

Other notables: None

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI 20-104-1, (5)4-45
Speaking of being health, “Apostrophe” is one of the few RBs in Arizona that is healthy. Going into the game vs MIN, it was expected that Powell and Stephens-Howing would split carries, but that was not the case. The 104 yards was a career high and came against a good MIN defense. He might have won the starting job, but faces a tough task vs SF in week 7.

Rashad Jennings JAX 21-44-1, (9)7-58
Not an overly impressive game for Jennings coming in relief of MJD who left with a undetermined foot injury. He combined for 102 yards, but the 2.1 YPC isn’t good. Jennings will become the starter week 8 at Green Bay, he is a must add.
Other notables:

Jonathan Dwyer PIT 17-122
I’ve gone back and forth on Dwyer the past few weeks, but he is one of he healthy back in PIT right now. With Mendenhall and Redman still injured Dwyer finally exploded on Sunday for 122 yards (7.2 YPC)! Look for him to remain the starter in week 8 against WAS.

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Santana Moss WAS (4)3-67-2
With the injury to Fred Davis, the wide receivers could end up playing a bigger role in the upcoming weeks. Still only 4 targets on the week, wasn’t the top targeted WR (Hankerson). Still if you are looking for a BYE week cover you might look at WAS match up and start Moss on a game by game basis. Week 8 has WAS in PIT.

Leonard Hankerson WAS (8)6-70
With Garcon still inactive, Hankerson and Moss end up being the starters for WAS. Hankerson was the top targeted WR on Sunday with 8 targets. Hankerson hasn’t been all too consistent, could be a flex option vs PIT in week 8.

Other notables: Chris Givens STL (5)3-73, Brandon Gibson STL (7)5-60, Cecil Shorts (10)4-79-1

TIGHT END
Martellus Bennett NYG (7)5-79
After a few down weeks, Bennett posted his best yardage of the year, 79 yards. Still one of the better options to own at the TE position, as he posted 70+ yards times this season along with 3 TDs. Bennett has a good match up against DAL, which he scored on back in week 1.

Other notables: Brandon Myers OAK (10)7-44, Dustin Keller (7)7-93-1

2011 Top 10 WR Rankings (Early)

This is the second in a series of lists I have been working on as we race towards April 6 and the court ruling by a judge for the players or the owners over the CBA. This list, as with many of my off-season activities could be for not if their silence continues to speak volumes and the owners potentially lock out the players.

This week I take a look at the top ten wide receivers for the upcoming season. Just like the QB position I looked at their 2010 statistics, ranking them based on total fantasy points, yards, receptions, TDs, rating and their strength of schedule for 2011 based off 2010 records (courtesy of ESPN).

I assume we will see Russ Bliss over at Fantasy Football Starters kick out his early top ten list at the wide receiver position as well. It will be interesting to see how they compare and differ.

WR
White, Roddy: needs some help opposite of him, but this kid can do it all, run, catch and score.
Jennings, Greg: big season in 2010, should only improve this year, but could see Rodgers spread the ball more.
Fitzgerald, Larry: the QB situation is questionable, but Fitz is the complete package, should quietly have a solid year.
Wayne, Reggie: injuries in 2010 saw Wayne excel (again!), more health at the WR position, but Reggie gets his share.
Johnson, Andre: big game player, should only improve with Schaub and be a top WR selected.
Johnson, Calvin: Megatron should get a performance boost with a healthy QB and running game.
Bowe,  Dwayne: don’t think he can repeat his 2010 performance, he is the #1 in KC, but didn’t catch 54% of balls his direction.
Nicks, Hakeem: injuries in 2010 set him back, but is a favorite for Manning, look for a good follow up season.
Wallace, Mike: good rapport with Big Ben, put a full season in and Wallace increases his targets/receptions.
Lloyd, Brandon: a flash in the pan, but could crack the top ten, QB controversy in Denver?

Some might question the list I have put together. Others will be surprised not to see either DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin on the list. Both WRs will have good years if Vick remains healthy. I believe Steve Johnson and Mike Williams (TB) need to prove 2010 was not a fluke, both should improve on their performances this season as well. Finally, Austin Miles was beset by the injury to Romo, with a healthy QB I think Miles has a shot for the top ten.

Larry Fitzgerald might come as a surprise at #3 based solely on the lack of a consistent QB in the desert for the Cardinals. I am hedging my bet that Arizona signs a proven veteran, which can only lead to good numbers for Fitzgerald. Missing from the list, Anquan Boldin who didn’t make a big impact in Baltimore his first year, but after a year with Flacco, they could gel a bit more and see a slight increase.

Another missing “star” is Marques Colston. One would believe this kid should be all pro with Drew Brees at QB, but last year Colston struggled. He did have one stretch of 7 games, but owners were frustrated with him all season. He has proven to be consistent over the years, but I don’t believe he is a top ten WR.

Finally, Santana Moss, no longer a youngster at 31 years old and 10 years in the NFL. He continues to put up solid numbers, even in a difficult year for the Redskins. Best thing that could happen to Moss is a change of venue to boost his numbers and production.