2013 Watch List #3

2012 fantasy football watch listWeek 3 finishes up tonight with a big AFC rivalry as OAK travels to DEN to take on Manning and that passing attack. It was a wacky week as we saw a number of upsets including SF and GB, while CLE, under Brian Hoyer and defeated MIN. Let’s not forget the Giants going 0-3 being waxed by CAR 38-0. Ouch! So much for Emily Manning and company. Enter the BYE weeks start in week 4 and if you drafted like many do without consideration for back ups at some position now is the time to start looking to fill those voids.

QUARTERBACKS
Geno Smith NYJ 16-29-331-2, 4-14-1: Smith could be a spot start as we head into BYE weeks depending on opponant. He put up career best numbers vs BUF and looks to have another good matchup vs TEN in week 4.

Brian Hoyer CLE 30-54-321-3: Got to give the kid some credit posting 300+ in his first game, but CLE didn’t have a running game to speak of attempting 54 passes! With no positive contribution on the ground, don’t be surprised to see 40-50 passing attempts moving forward.

RUNNING BACKS
LeGarrette Blount NEP 14-65/Brandon Bolden NEP 3-51, (6)5-49: With Ridley continuing to lose time and carries, Blount and Bolden combined for 116 yards on the ground. Logic dictates it will be Bolden who is the more versitile RB in the backfield.

Jonathan Franklin GBP 13-103-1, (3)3-27: He won’t be noted for the offense he contributed to the Packers, but the fumble that caused cost GB the name. He looked better running the ball than Starks did, faster and more ellusive. Numbers might be a bit skewed thanks in part to a 51 yard run. Bye in week 4, watch injuries to Lacy and Starks.

Isaiah Pead STL 7-21, 11(9)-61: Richardson lasted a single play as he reinjured his foot, which opened the door for Pead. While he wasn’t impressive on the ground he did contribute to the passing game. This week STL plays SF, watch Richardson’s situation, but Pead has the edge to take the majority of the snaps.

Jacquizz Rodgers ATL 18-86, (3)2-17: Mentioned him in Watch List #2 after Steven Jackson went down last week, but Rodgers posted a ground best 86 yards. Good chance Jackson misses week 4 providing Rodgers another start vs NEP.

Fred Jackson BUF 7-72, (5)4-37: Spiller left the game with a knee injury and Jackson took over backfield duties and led the team in rushing. BUF faces BAL next week, but watch the status of Spiller, which could make Jackson a flex start.

Bilal Powell NYJ 27-149, 2-9: Powell was another RB mentioned in the week 2 Watch List. he put in his best performance rushing for 149, averaging 5.5 YPC. Could be in line for a majority of the work next week at TEN.

Notables: Jason Snelling ATL 11-53, (5)4-58-1.

WIDE RECEIVERS
Donnie Avery KC (7)7-141: While the KC offensive with Smith isn’t impressive, he has been effective in the yardage department. This week it was Avery exploding for 141 yards and catching everything that came his way. With all the underneath routes Avery could play a bigger role.

Mike Williams TB (9)5-65: Not flashy, but the injury to Jackson could see an increase in production. Still getting a fair amount of targets from Freeman. Might be worth watching the VJ injury.

Josh Gordon CLE (19)10-146-1: Big game coming off a 2-game suspension for Gordon, who was targeted an amazing 19 times on Sunday. This with Brian Hoyer at QB and 54 pass attempts. Matchup seem favorable for CLE the next few weeks. He could be a viable WR2 or flex option in your team.

Notables: Jason Avant PHI (8)5-87-1, Ted Ginn CAR (4)3-71-1,  Kendall Wright TEN (6)6-71, Devone Best CLE (10)7-67.

2012 Watch List #5

2012 fantasy football watch listWere you an owner that rushed to the wire this week to pick up some of the hot talent from the past weeks. For example, all the tight ends I have been listing busted this week; Pitta, Bennett and Rudolph didn’t fair well at all. Some of the attention was on the return of Jerome Simpson off suspension or Ramses Barden starting with the injury to Hakeem Nicks. For the most part many of the players I talked up, flopped. That’s fantasy football for you. Sometimes you get all the breaks, other times it breaks you.

One week does not make a season and many have heard guys, like Russ Bliss say this repeatedly on Fantasy Football Starters. You put week 4 behind you and start preparing for week 5, no reason to sit and wallow in your lose or struggles, but try to put the best players together for the upcoming week.

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 5 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
Ryan Tannehill MIA 26-41-431-1
Does it make you wonder if the Arizona defense is for real or not, as Tannehill put up good numbers on the road combining with Brian Hartline (see below). Unfortunately he is still turning the ball over too much, including a fumble and an INT yesterday. Given the match up be might be worthwhile for a BYE week cover, but not as a full time starter.

Kevin Kolb ARI 29-48-324-3
Teams struggle to run against the MIA defense, but find success through the air. Even Kevin Kolb put up his best numbers since making the move to the desert. Kolb was playing for he injured Skelton, no idea what The Wiz does when Skelton is healthy. He does have Fitz, but it was Andre Roberts was the man of the afternoon for Kolb. He should post good numbers in the Thursday night game vs STL.

Other notables: Matt Hasselbeck TEN 17-25-193-2

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
Brandon Bolden NEP 16-137-1 (1)1-11
I am sure many owners will rush to the wire to add Bolden this week. The rookie posted 137 yards and 1 TD. Remember this team is coached by The Hoodie and nothing is ever as it seems in the running game. Woodhead could make a strong showing next week for all we know, he had 15 touches in week 3, and none yesterday. So even though Bolden posted impressive numbers, I would not grab him for depth at this point. The Hoodie does like to run with multiple RBs, so this isn’t outside the norm for the Patriots.

Jackie Battle SDG 15-39-1 (4)4-42-1
Ryan Mathews still can’t hang on to the ball, thus the reason he found himself on the sidelines, as a spectator. Battle, who I have talk about before the season and mentioned in Watch List #3 came on in relief to score twice for San Diego. If Mathews continues to stumble, I see Battle as his replacement from here on out. He is a worthwhile addition to a roster, looks to be the piece of the running game SD lost when Tolbert moved to Carolina.

Other notables: Joique Bell DET 1-2 (8)6-72, Jacquizz Rodgers ATL 6-45 (4)4-40

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Brian Hartline MIA (19)12-253-1
Mentioned after his week 2 performance, Hartline tops the list for WRs again this week with his 253 yard blow up vs Arizona. Targeted 19 times during the game by Tannehill he scored on an 80-yard TD pass. He is a viable starter in all formats as a WR3/4, should be available in many leagues.

Andre Roberts ARI (9)6-118-2
Roberts took center stage on Sunday as he caught 2 TDs vs Miami, including the TD that sent the game into overtime. Roberts has posted better games (4 TDs on the season) than receiving mate, Larry Fitzgerald. Not ready to put him on the same pedestal, but if Arizona’s passing game comes alive could be a worthwhile addition. He goes up against STL on Thursday.

Devone Bess MIA (12)7-123
When Marshall was in MIA, Bess was usually the recipient of good games, but now he is playing second fiddle to Hartline. Tannehill posted 400+ yards and both Bess and Hartline fared very well on Sunday. Bess is also worth owning at this point, posting over 200 yards the last few weeks.

Domenik Hixon NYG (11)6-114
With Nicks out, most of the attention was centered on Ramses Barden, after his performance in week 3. This week it was Hixon breaking out and putting together his second 100+ yard game and grabbing his 2nd TD of the season. Watch the Nicks news as we move into week 5, Hixon might be worth a flex option vs CLE.

Other notables: James Jones GBP (6)5-56-2, Donald Jones BUF (3)2-90-2

TIGHT END
Scott Chandler BUF (8)4-62-2
Another year, another hot start by Scott Chander who hauled in 2 TDs in Buffalo’s thumping at the hands of the Pats. On the season he now has 4 TDs and continues to receive a fair amount of targets through 4 games. Healthy, he is Fitzpatrick’s favorite target, especially in the red zone. Lots of TEs to chose from this year, he is just another young, hot player who is worth a look.

Other notables: None

KICKER
Greg Zuerlein STL (58,48,60,24)
The rookie out of Missouri Western State is perfect on the year, 12 for 12. This week he hit 4 field goals, including a 58 and 60 yarder. If you got hit with the late Kaeding scratch (groin), Zuerlein is one of the better options, he plays a majority of his games in a dome and should get plenty of field goal chances. This is the 4th week he has posted 2 or more field goals.

2012 Watch List #4

2012 fantasy football watch listDepending on how your team is performing could determine how much you are using the waiver wire and picking up players during the week. For me, I made my first real claim (second transaction this season, picked up Zuerlein since Josh Brown didn’t win a spot) and picked up Dennis Pitta, TE BAL and started him in place of Fred Davis this weekend. With week 4 on the horizon, I now start looking at my roster and players who haven’t performed.

It could be a recent injury (CJ Spiller and Reggie Bush on Sunday) or an ineffective player on your roster that has you looking to the wire. This is the point in the season where I begin to consider my options, especially if reserve players haven’t been scoring well. There are quite a few adequate options this week, which saw more upsets in the NFL and more players make their name, but make a fantasy owner question, a one-week wonder or true diamond in the rough.

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 4 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
Shaun Hill DET 10-13-172-2 TD
Hill entered the game with 2 minutes to go in the game and put some some good stats after Stafford departed with an injury. He ended up tossing 2 TDs to Megatron and Young. More importantly he could be the starter pending the MRI on Stafford’s leg. Detroit is a pass heavy offense, might be worth the pick up to cover Stafford. Detroit plays the Vikings next week before heading into their bye week.

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
Tashard Choice BUF 20-95 (5) 2-8
First Fred Jackson, now CJ Spiller, Buffalo is down to Choice as their starter until Jackson returns. There will be an update on the injury today (Monday), but expect owners to be rushing to grab Choice for a 1-2 week start. With as active as Jackson and Spiller was, Choice could be a good pick up for week 4. Buffalo will face New England and San Francisco the next 2 weeks.

Daniel Thomas MIA 19-69-1 TD, (2) 1-11
More upside in Lamar Miller at this point, but Thomas should get a fair amount of work if the injury (knee) to Reggie Bush is significant. Expect Thomas to share carries with Miller.

Lamar Miller MIA 9-48
Miller had a 5.3 YPC with a long of 22 yards and ran better than Thomas. Might have a leg up on Thomas considering his fumble in the third quarter. Dolphins face a stout Cardinals defense in week 4.

Mikel Leshoure DET 26-100-1 TD, (4) 4-34
Returning from the Achilles’ tendon injured suffered last year, Leshoure did not hesitate to impress owners. There was some hesitation in starting with with possibility of limited carries but ended up shouldering the load of the work with 26 carries. Look for Leshoure to carry the load in DET after his week 3 performance. Must pick up if he is still available.

Other notables: Jacquizz Rodgers 10-32, (5) 5-35-1 TD

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
T.Y. Hilton IND (8) 4-113-1 TD
With Austin Collie suffering a knee injury, T.Y. Hilton stepped into the limelight yesterday vs JAX. He took advantage of Luck’s ability to spread the ball around. Y.T. is the quickest of the receivers in Indy, but might only be grabbed in deeper leagues. I still believe Avery is the better option over Hilton, but keep an eye on the Collie injury when Indy comes out of their week 4 bye.

Ramses Barden NYG (10) 9-138
Right now, Giants are the players to own. Barden is a 4th year player who stepped up Thursday vs Carolina. Barden started with the absence of Nicks (foot). Barden stepped up much like Victor Cruz did last year during week 3 and we see how that has worked out. With question marks around Nicks health, Barden is one to keep an eye on going forward, especially with the year Manning is having.

Andrew Hawkins CIN (4) 2-66-1 TD
Not the strongest showing this week for Hawkins, but that brings his yearly totals to (16) 12-208-2 TD over 3 weeks, not bad playing as the WR2 to AJ Green. I suspect Hawkins will continue to see success over the next few weeks facing JAX, MIA and CLE.

Damaris Johnson PHI (11) 5-84-1 TD
With both DeSean Jackson dinged and Jeremy Maclin inactive (hip) Johnson got the start vs Arizona on Sunday. He saw a team (and career) high 11 targets from Vick and averaged 16.8 YPC. Watch the status of Maclin before you grab Johnson. Philly plays division foes, the New York Giants in week 4.

Jerome Simpson MIN
Simpson has yet to play this year after serving a 4-game suspension after violating the league substance abuse policy. He is slated to he the startin ‘X’ wide out for Minnesota. Should be another good target for Christian Ponder and complete Percy Harvin very well.

Other notables: Devone Bess MIA (7) 5-86, Kendall Wright (11) 7-41, Brandon Stokley DEN (6) 6-73-1 TD

TIGHT END
Kyle Rudolph MIN (6) 5-36-2 TD
This is the second week Rudolph has been on the Watch List and he put together a very good game vs the 49ers on Sunday. He has become a big target for Christian Ponder. Currently a top 10 TE with (18) 13-138-3 TD. Must own and start at this point.

Heath Miller PIT (10) 8-60-2 TD
A bit of a surprise based on his numbers over the last few years, but Miller has scored 4 times in 3 weeks, 2 TDs yesterday vs Oakland. He is off to his best start in his career. With other big named TEs struggling, Miller could be an option, yet the presence of Wallace and Brown are still relevant in that offense.

Martellus Bennett NYG (7) 6-73-1 TD
Bennett was on Watch List #2 after back to back showings and 2 TDs. He put up another great outing last Thursday as the Giants offense is clicking. Currently he is a top 3 TE through 3 weeks and at the rate the Giants are scoring he is a must start as Manning has been spreading the ball around very well.

Other notables: None

2012 Watch List #3

2012 fantasy football watch listIt’s funny how a watch list works, last week a player like Kevin Ogletree was probably one of the most picked up players after his opening season performance. Yesterday it was 1 catch for 26 yards. I am not the only one who said, told you so, but have some patience with your fantasy team. The players on this list don’t necessarily need to be picked up this week, but are players to watch in the coming weeks. Depending on the injury situation your team is in some of these players might be considered a worthwhile pick up immediately.

Some players who are free agents, might not even get a mention, for example Dante Rosario, TE in San Diego. He took advantage of Gates as a late scratch and was 4-48-3 TD, a career day for him. Look for him to fall back into fantasy irrelevance after yesterdays performance. I still subscribe to staying the course after nearly 2 weeks of football. Unless you injury ridden, no situation is too much to overcome at this point. Keep an eye on possibly acquisitions and play the best team you can, which isn’t always the easiest decision to make.

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 3 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
Russell Wilson SEA 15-20-151-1, 4-28
Wilson still not as impressive as he was in pre-season, but Wilson has been effective at QB for the Seahawks. He could be 2-0, but ends up 1-1 after 2 weeks. He posted a 112.7 QB rating on Sunday vs Dallas, but it was the rushing of Lynch that took away the opportunities for Wilson. Still, he is a worthwhile QB to own as a bench player or bye week cover.

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
Jackie Battle 14-69-2
It only took a game and a half, but Norv Turner might of found his true back up to injured RB, Ryan Mathews. The rushing game in San Diego has been pathetic, but Jackie Battle posted a 14-92 YPC and scored twice. This could be short lived success with Mathews due to return in week 3. If you are looking for the handcuff, Battle could be the RB to own.

Andre Brown NYG 13-73-1, (2) 2-19
With the injury to Bradshaw it was 3rd year player Brown, not Dave Wilson who picked up the slack and posted good numbers in the Giants comeback victory. He posted a 5.5 YPC and looked better than Bradshaw. If the neck injury continue, “What can Brown do for you?”

Bilal Powell NYJ 9-33, (2) 2-10
Greene departed the game with a head injury, but returned later in the game. Powell filled in, but being down in the second half the Jets had to go to the pass (unsuccessfully), which limited the number of touches Powell got. He is someone to watch as we go forward with the season.
Daryl Richardson STL 15-83, (3) 2-19
Steven Jackson came out of the game under mysterious circumstances, which then turned into a groin injury. Watch the week injury report and HC, Jeff Fisher has to say. If the injury lingers, Richardson might take over the RB1 in St. Louis. If you own Jackson, Richardson might be a wise pick up this week.

Other notables: None

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Danny Amendola (16) 15-160-1
Amendola had a career game with 15 catches, which included 12 in the first half. His value comes more in PPR leagues, but if you are in need of a receiver, Amendola might be worth a look. Bradford has his go-to wide receiver, no reason this duo won’t continue to pile up positive numbers.

Brian Hartline MIA (12) 9-111
Hartline has seen 20 targets with Tannehill through 2 weeks and finished with 111 yards against Oakland on Sunday. Might be worth a look in PPR formats with the number of targets he is seeing, but could be a match up player only as Tannehill has struggled through 2 games.

Brandon LaFell CAR (8) 6-90
Led the Panthers in targets on Sunday, but could not find the end zone. He continues to impress and with the passing attack that Carolina has, he is a viable option. Look for big game against NYG in week 3. LaFell could benefit if Steve Smith’s knee issue continues.

Donnie Avery IND (10) 9-111
Avery has 18 targets through 2 weeks with rookie Andrew Luck at QB. Trailing as Indy will be most games, most of the year he could be a viable WR2 with concussion issues still a problem for Austin Collie. Probably a better PPR candidate than standard scoring pick up.

Other notables: Brandon Gibson STL (4) 2-53-1, Julian Edelman (6) 5-50

TIGHT END
Martellus Bennett NYG (10) 5-72-1
Another strong performance by “The Black Unicorn” in a Giants offense that is putting big points on the board and producing huge stats. You might as well get on board with Martellus, as he put up good numbers including 2 TDs in 2 weeks. With injuries and other TEs struggling, he is worth a shot.

Kyle Rudolph MIN (5) 3-35-1
Week 1 he put up modest yardage and yesterday scored a late TD including 35 yards. He is becoming a red zone option for Ponder. With Harvin and Peterson healthy, I like what I have seen in Rudolph through 2 weeks. Viable fantasy option with good upside.

Other notables: Scott Chandler BUF (4) 2-53-1, Todd Heap ARI (10) 5-72-1

2012 Watch List #2

2012 fantasy football watch listBefore I get to the 2012 Watch List #2 I need to make an early observation, based off comments I read this week. Have patience with your team, I don’t buy into the hype of a player emerging to the forefront of a week after only one game.

While that player’s performance will probably get them noticed on ESPN and the highlight reel, it will also get their name on the watch list. But does that mean I subscribe to the idea of immediately claiming that player off the wire or through free agency? No, I don’t. If any player who makes this list is available, I would pick them up only if they improved my team. I would not pick them to potentially trade them or as depth if I have to drop another player who could impact any given position.

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 2 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
Robert Griffith III (aka Bob3) 19-26-320-2 10-42
Another stellar performance by a rookie QB in his first game. Bob3 led the underdog Redskins past New Orleans, 40-32. He was 8-8 before tossing his first incomplete pass, later connecting with Garcon on an 88 yard TD. He also added 42 yards on the ground, making him a double threat on Sunday.

Other notables: Blaine Gabbert 23-39-260-2, 5-6

Russell Wilson SEA 18-34-153-1 8-20
Numbers not as strong as what we saw in the preseason, partially due to the fact he was limited on the ground by the Arizona defense. Could have made a better showing if he could have driven his team in for the winning TD when on the Arizona 4 yard line.

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
Alfred Morris WAS 28-96-2
The secret of the week, thanks to Shanny was Morris who the Redskins on the ground and was the best performing RB when compared to Helu and Royster. Take that for what it’s worth, when you are a RB in Washington you just don’t know what Shanny will do. Can’t argue with 28 carries, but the 3.4 YPC is a bit worrisome.

Dexter McCluster (10) 6-82
Kansas City uses McCluster like New Orleans uses Sproles. His contribution was seen in the second half as he became the go to player for Cassel. His totals could be a bit inflated due to the fact KC was trailing and trying to come back from such a deficit.

Jonathan Dwyer PIT 9-43, 2-11
With Mendenhall still sidelined, Dwyer and Redman split the carries, but it was Dwyer who looked the better options averaging 4.8 YPC. His performance could lead to a larger part of the RBBC in Pittsburgh.

Other notables: None

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Kevin Ogletree DAL
As a WR3, he took advantage of the lack of coverage and the double teams of Bryant and Austin to be the top WR for Dallas opening night. Ogletree was targeted 14 times and caught 8-114-2 TD. Not buying the hype on him yet, he still is the third or fourth option (with a healthy Witten) in the Cowboys offense.

Stephen Hill NYJ (6) 5-89-2
Hill averaged 17.8 YPC in the rout of the Bills on Sunday. The rookie hauled in 2 TDs, both from Sanchez. A un-Jet like performance, based on the “ground and pound” strategy of Rex Ryan. Not sure if this is a new look Jets offense or just the Jets taking advantage of a soft Buffalo defense.

Jeremy Kerley NYJ (4) 4-45-1
Kerley scored twice in the game, on a 12-yard pass from Sanchez, followed by a 68-yard punt return in the second quarter. Not sure there is much fantasy value here, just a young player making the most of his opportunities. With Keller, Holmes and possibly Hill as better options Kerley might not have much fantasy impact at this time.

James Jones GBP (6) 4-81-1
Who’s hot on the Packers this week? Jones, who I suspect went undrafted in many leagues with the emergence of Jordy Nelson. Jones held without a caught the first half exploded in the second as he became Rodgers top target, hauling in 4 catches including a 10-yard TD catch. He averaged 20.3 YPC on Sunday.

Alshon Jeffery CHI (5) 3-81-1
Jeffery could be one of the more consistent players this season with the addition of Brandon Marshall to the Bears. Teams willing to double team Marshall will put the rookie in lighter coverage, which could be an advantage for Jay Cutler. He was still way behind Marshall in targets (15).

Other notables: Randall Cobb (9) 9-77, Cecil Shorts (7) 4-74-1, Andre Roberts (9) 5-54-1, Brandon Gibson (5) 4-51-1, Alderick Robinson (6) 4-52-1, Donald Jones, (7) 5-41-1

TIGHT END
Coby Fleener IND (10) 6-82
While Indy still lost their opening, the chemistry looked good between Luck and Fleener. Targeted 10 times, second to Reggie Wayne (18), Fleener made the most of his receptions including a long for 24 yard. Indy will be playing from behind much of this year, Fleener could represent a good candidate to keep your eye on.

Marcedes Lewis JAX (5) 5-52-1
Lewis looking to bounce back this year (0 TDs in 2011) started off the year strong catching ever pass that came his way on Sunday. He was Gabbert’s top target on Sunday, which rewarded him with a 1 yard TD in the second quarter. With young Gabbert at QB, Lewis could return to his 2010 form.

Other notables: Martellus Bennett (6) 4-40-1, Heath Miller PIT (7) 4-50-1