2012 Watch List #11

2012 fantasy football watch listBy week 11 you should have a very good idea as to your chance to make the playoffs. For me, my seasons are over. Injuries, again this year, have keyed my failure. Even with advanced planning during the draft to select backups and keep a close eye on the waiver wire.

As we have seen in years past when teams have secured a playoff spot before the end of the year, some big name players might not get the sort of playing time you, as a fantasy owner expect. So while many owners headed to the post season are banking on a big playoff run, you might have to dial back your expectations and look to make a few moves in order to assure your run to the championship.

Much like last week we have another round of injuries that could have more players being picked up this week off the wire. Injuries include Willis McGahee (knee), Julio Jones (ankle), Dennis Pitta (concussion), LeSean McCoy (concussion), Donnie Avery (concussion), Issac Redman (concussion), Dwayne Bowe (concussion), Rob Gronkowski (broken forearm) and Blaine Gabbert (Elbow).

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 11 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
Chad Henne MIA 16-33-354-4
Henne had played in the last 2 games (in relief) for JAX, but put up career numbers yesterday in the overtime loss to HOU. He looked outstanding in relief of Gabbert who left with injury. Hard to say what happens if Gabbert is healthy in week 12 when JAX plays TEN. Gabbert could post another good day in week 12 if given the start.

Other notables: None

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
Beanie Wells ARI
The Cardinals running game has been horrid recently and Wells coming back in week 12 could be what they need. Keep an eye on the news surrounding Wells this week. His schedule isn’t great for the playoffs, so taper expectations.

Bryce Brown PHL 5-35
Brown might have just gained value after week 11 with the concussion to LeSean McCoy. He averaged 7 YPC on 5 carries and totaled 35 yards. If McCoy misses time, Brown will be the starter. Week 12 has PHL playing CAR.

Ronnie Hillman DEN 12-43, (2)2-16/Lance Ball DEN 6-35, (3)3-21
McGahee left the game as a precaution (knee) in the second quarter with Hillman and Ball seeing increased action while splitting time. It remains to be seen how DEN will use these RBs if McGahee misses time. Both would be worth a flex start vs KC in week 11.

Bilal Powell NYJ 11-42-2, (2)2-18
Powell posted a career high, 11 carries vs STL rushing for 42 yards and 2 TDs in the 4th quarter. Powell has the opportunity to overshadow Greene, who has largely been unimpressive this year. Look for Powell to spell Greene and try to gain a larger share of the workload as the season rolls on. Week 12 Powell could be considered a flex player vs NEP.

Justin Forsett HOU 7-59, (2)1-6
With HOU headed to the playoffs and Tate still injured, Forsett saw plenty of action for HOU on Sunday. He rushed 7-59 in relief of Foster. Depending on how HOU plays, Forsett could see an increased roll in order to save Foster and avoid injury. HOU plays Detroit on Thanksgiving.

Other notables: Jalen Parmele JAX 24-80, (3)3-3, James Starks GBP 25-74, (1)1-6

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Danario Alexander SDG (11)7-96-2
A continued strong showing for the newest Charger and now seems to be on the same page as Rivers, something he hasn’t had with any WR this season. Alexander got his points in garbage time for San Diego, but fantasy owners don’t care. Alexander was targeted 11 times and hauled in 2 TDs. Good match up in week 12 vs BAL.

Justin Blackmon JAX (13)7-236-1
The rookie broke out for JAX yesterday posting career yardage with Henne at QB. Blackmon also found the endzone for only the second time this season and lead the team with 13 targets. With a reinvigorated offense, Blackmon could be a strong start next week vs TEN.

Cecil Shorts JAX (6)3-81-1
Shorts has come into his own this season, as the best WR in JAX. Shorts was overshadowed by Blackmon, but still hauled in 1 TD from Henne. In fact the offense posted great numbers with the injury to Gabbert. Viable starter in week 11 vs TEN.

Brandon Gibson STL (5)3-9-2
The stats aren’t impressive, but the fact he found the endzone twice is, which means Bradford is looking for him in the red zone. Amendola usually draws most of the attention, so Gibson could be worth a look. Next week STL playing ARI.

Other notables: Brandon Stokley (5)4-55-1, Devone Bess MIA (11)6-50-1, T.Y. Hilton (9)6-100-2

TIGHT END
Marcedes Lewis BAL
Lewis, like the rest of the offense benefited from Henne at QB. Lewis put up his best game of the year, finding the endzone twice, he had not scored since week 4. Look at Lewis only if Henne remains the starting QB.

Ben Watson CLE (8)4-47-2
Not sure why Weedon hasn’t looked to the veteran more than has this season. A sure handed TE was targeted a season high 8 times yesterday and posted his first multi-TD game of the year. At this point, his value is still low as he isn’t being used like in years past.

Other notables: Brandon Myers OAK (10)-6-55-1, Dallas Clark TBB (11)7-58-1, Garrett Graham HOU (9)8-82-2

2012 Watch List #10

2012 fantasy football watch listThere comes a time in every season where you look at your team and wonder what COULD have been. Week 10 was that week for me. Looking over my team I believe it was a very well drafted team, but the big names are equating to big stats and more importantly…wins.

The wire is still a pertinent for many owners, as the moves continue at record breaking pace (in 3 leagues) and teams jockey for a playoff position with just 3 weeks of the regular season remaining (in many leagues). By now you have a very good idea if you will make the playoffs or miss out. For all teams, continuing to look ahead to the playoffs (weeks 14-16) could be rewarding depending on who’s available on the wire.

This week we see a few players returning to action. Danny Amendola, who was probably dropped in many leagues after his shoulder injury and some will be banking on Beanie Wells to inject a spark into the Arizona running game that has been dismay at best. More notable injuries this week that could pose problems in the weeks to come, Julio Jones (leg), Mike Vick (concussion), Alex Smith (concussion), Ahmad Bradshaw (head/neck) and Fred Jackson (concussion-like symptoms).

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 10 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
Russell Wilson SEA 12-19-188-2, 7-34
Not a great option at QB, if you are in need of one he has tossed multiple TDs in the last 3 games (and last 4 of 5) and has what looks to be some good match ups going forward. Seems to be developing a nice rapport with Golden Tate.

Colin Kaepernick SF 11-17-117, 8-66-1
Kaepernick came into the game in relief of Smith who exited with an injury. After a rough start, Colin settled in and made plays for the 49ers. With Smith’s status questionable for week 11 vs CHI, Kapernick might be an option, thanks in part to his running abilities.

Other notables: None

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
Chris Ivory NOS 7-72-1, 1-13
Ivory received only 7 carries, but the made the most of them with a 56-yard TD run. He has scored 2 TDs in 2 weeks now, but only managed 17 carries. It’s still an RBBC in the Saints backfield, but Ivory seems to carry some value with Sproles missing time. Looking at week 11 he could have a nice match up vs OAK.

Jacquizz Rodgers ATL 3-29, (4)4-33

Against one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL, Michael Turner only managed 15 yards on 13 carries. Rodgers fared a bit better, but still only had 3 carries. He is active in the Falcons passing game, but still inconsistent and may not see more than 8-10 touches a game if Turner continues to struggle. Rodgers and the Falcons play ARI in week 11.

Beanie Wells ARI
Wells practiced for the first time last Wednesday since hitting the IR in September. While he is still a few weeks away from starting, he might be worth adding if you lack depth at RB. Unfortunately he will be looking at some very tough match ups; SEA, STL, CHI and SF.

Other notables: Daryl Richardson STL 7-58, (2)1-0, Danny Woodhead NEP 1-15-1, (6)4-46-1

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Danny Amendola STL (12)11-102
After missing 3 games, Amendola returned as the top target for Bradford and the Rams. While the shoulder isn’t 100%, he put up some great numbers on his return. If he is on the wire, he should be grabbed. Week 11 STL faces the NYJ.

Danario Alexander SDG (7)5-134-1

High expectations for this kid in STL, but nagging knee injuries saw him out of football until a few week ago. Yesterday was a career game for Alexander vs TBB. He’s a big body, which is what Rivers might have been missing at the WR position. He is healthy now and has played well as the WR2 in San Diego. Might be worth an add in the pass heavy offense.

Cecil Shorts JAX (13)6-105-1

Shorts makes the watch list again with his second 100-yard performance in 2 weeks. He received a team high 13 targets vs Indy on Thursday including a 4-yard TD reception. He has been the most consistent receiver for JAX, week 11 he faces a stingy HOU defense.

Other notables: Golden Tate SEA (2)2-51-1, Donald Jones BUF (10)6-74-1, Jarius Wright MIN (5)3-65-1

TIGHT END
Scott Chandler BUF (8)5-65-1
Chandler has been irrelevant since week 4, posting 4 TDs to start the season. He returned to the endzone this weekend, which might be the start of another steak. Good match up vs MIA in week 11.

Other notables: Brandon Myers (7)5-57

2012 Watch List #8

2012 fantasy football watch listIt’s mid-season as we are on the verge of MNF that will draw an end to week 8. For my teams, it’s been a season of mediocrity at it’s finest. I have gone to the wire and picked up players at an alarming rate. This tells me I did not draft as well as I once anticipated early in the season. Between leagues leagues I used used the wire 35 times (15-ESPN, 14-Yahoo, 6-CBS). No matter how I examine it, it’s too much, especially the 6 transactions in the CBS league, since each move is $10. I rarely spend more than $20 a year. I am still a big believer in building a successful team during the draft, not through FA and the waiver wire.

With only 5 weeks remaining until H2H playoffs begin, it’s time to take a good, hard look at your team and decide if you have enough to bring home a championship. I have already done this and believe I could be done very early (again) this season. For those owners who still believe then it’s time to make the most of those wire moves.

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 9 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
Blaine Gabbert JAX 27-49-303-1
Gabbert had his first 300 yard performance vs GB. Still not a intended to be a strong starter, he continues to struggle finding the endzone with multi-TD games this season. Considering JAX will usually be trailing, he could end up posting decent yardage and a TD a week.

Russell Wilson SEA 25-35-236-2-1, 1-9
Wilson put up good numbers versus a strong Lions pass defense completing 75% of his passes and 2 TD passes. Much like Gabbert, you might have to pick starts if you decided to grab Russell. He has skill and talent, but still just a rookie starting his 9th game.

Other notables: None

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
Ronnie Brown SDG 4-17, (8)7-85
There are no bright spots in San Diego these days, but Ronnie Brown continues to be a factor in the passing game. It seems he has taken on a Sproles-like role for the Chargers. Consider Rivers passed 11 times on Sunday with 7 catches by Brown. He has more value in a PPR format, but if you are in dire need of a RB you might look at Brown.

Jacquizz Rodgers ATL 8-60, (5)5-20
Rodgers is the change of pace back in the ATL who combined for 13 touches on Sunday vs Philly. This was his best game of the season and it’s still difficult to predict just how much he will be used on any given weekend. Still better to have Rodgers if you own Turner rather than as a starter in your line up.

Other notables: Joique Bell DET 7-25, (4)4-33,

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Titus Young DET (9)9-100-1
Young was dropped by many owners early in the year as his numbers were weak. The injury to Burleson has given Young the chance to contribute to the Lions offense. Young caught all 9 balls his way and scored on a 1-yard TD pass. Megatron should continue to draw heavy coverage, hopefully Young is able to step up after back to back good games. He should be added and could be a good start in JAX in week 9.

Clyde Gates NYJ (11)7-82
Gates led the Jets in receiving, but that wasn’t saying much Sunday vs MIA. Most of these catches were garbage time, as the Jets were out of the game. He was targeted 11 times finishing with 7 catches. Only a viable WR is deeper leagues, as there should be better WRs to grab off the wire at this time.

Cecil Shorts JAX (12)8-116
Games of 74, 80, 79 and now 116 have made Shorts a good option off the wire. This week was his fist 100 yard effort, in which he also found the endzone. Shorts has been more involved in the offense and Gabbert seems to be looking his way more often. In week JAX played DET and is worth a spot start.

Danny Amendola STL
STL is on a bye in week 9, but watch the news about Amendola’s return. he was posting good numbers again before a shoulder injury knocked him out. He could return in week 10 vs SF. He should be available after week 9.

Other notables: Josh Gordon CLE (5)3-46, Ryan Broyles DET (5)3-37-1

TIGHT END
Dustin Keller NYJ (11)7-67
Keller, now healthy has posted back to back 7 catch games and saw a season high 11 targets vs MIA. Keller is a viable starter, even with all the issues the Jets are having. He could lose a bit of value if Tebow takes over as starter out of the bye week.

Other notables: None

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

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