2013 Watch List #1

2012 fantasy football watch listThe Watch List is back for 2014. For those new to FFS, it’s just a snapshot of possible free agents you could potentially sign off the wire. Some of these names will be players who performed well over the weekend and are on wire in the leagues I compete in and some are pure speculation based on injuries or a gut feel. Please add to the list if you have a player you think might deserve to be on the list. The number in the () represents targets.

QUARTERBACKS
None

RUNNING BACKS
Joique Bell, DET 6-25-2, (6)5-67: Even with the injury to Bush, Bell put in a great game for DET scoring twice on the ground and adding 67 yards through the air. DET might have their short yardage back, but he’s to add for depth or keep an eye on.

Shane Vereen, NEP 14-101, (10)7-58: A player who was probably drafted in many leagues benefitted from Ridley’s inability to hold onto the ball on Sunday. Two Ridley fumbles and a benching resulted in Vereen taking a big step forward in getting more playing time.

Da’Rel Scott NYG 5-23, (8)5-51: The Dave Wilson experiment lasted only 2 fumbles before he was benched in favor of Scott, who turned in a nice performance. Wouldn’t hedge my bet on him lasting the season, but he is one to keep an eye on.

WIDE RECEIVERS
Doug Baldwin, SEA (8)7-91: On one of the worst passing teams in the NFL, Baldwin put up solid number on Sunday ith 91 yards. He led the team with 8 targets and with no true WR1 on the team (sorry I don’t believe the hype on Tate) Baldwin could turn around to put some good numbers up this season.

Julien Edelman, NEP (9)7-79-2: Could this be Edelman’s year? TE’s accounted for only 1 catch on Sunday as Brady only used 3 WRs. Amendola left with a minor injury, the rookie Thompkins was highly targeted, but it was Edelman who found the endzone. It is a very deep year for WRs, Julian is just one of many, but you gotta like the team he’s on.

Brian Hartline, MIA (15)9-114-1: Probably undrafted in many leagues for various reasons, but he continues to perform, especially for PPR leagues being targeted 15 times! He scored as well, might keep expectations in check, as they were only playing the Browns.

Jerome Simpson, MIN (8)7-140: Simpson was highly touted last year, but never really took flight. On Sunday he led all MIN receivers in receptions, targets and yards. Too bad Ponder found the DET defense 3 times. He’s the deep threat for Ponder as well.

Harry Douglas, ATL (6)4-93: With Roddy White dinged up Douglas might see more targets his way, as he led the Falcons in yards with 93, but missed out on the 2 TDPs.

Andre Roberts, ARI (9)8-97: Roberts made some good catches on Sunday to lead the Cards in yards with 97. His targets (9) were second only to Fitz.

Reuben Randle, NYG (6)5-101: Roberts had a strong showing as the WR3 for the Giants with 101 yards on 6 targets. This performance was good enough for the 3rd best WR on the Giants behind Cruz and Nicks. I still expect good stats from Randle as the team’s WR3.

TIGHT END
Martellus Bennett, CHI (6)3-49-1: Good game for the Black Unicorn, as he was targeted 6 times and found the endzone. CHI threw the ball 33 times, looks like they plan on using the TE.

Julius Thomas, DEN (7)5-110-2: What an impact game for the rookie, but it also helps to have Peyton Manning throwing he ball, setting a record with 7 TDs. Lots of hands wanting the ball in the aerial display. Thomas could be a legitimate red zone target.

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 #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