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.

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 # 12

2012 fantasy football watch listFor many fantasy owners it comes down to one more toss of the proverbial dice as we look towards week 13. By now many owners know their fate. For many, week 13 signals the end of their fantasy football season. For others, this is when you look to hit your stride and hope that moves you have made through out the NFL season will pay off. For those on the bubble, you are looking to secure that one last win to get into the playoffs and worry about your playoff match up next week.

More injuries to deal with this week starting with Matt Forte and a reoccurring ankle injury. Andre Brown (NYG) broke his fibula, while Jalen Parmele (JAX) injured his leg. Brandon Weeden (CLE) and Lance Moore (NOS) both suffered concussions. This potentially opens the door for a few players to make their mark.

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 13 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
Chad Henne JAX 17-26-261-2
Another strong performance by Henne as the starter this week, as he tossed a multi-TD game. The offense has been improved since Henne took over for the injured Gabbert. Not the strongest option at QB, but JAX plays BUF in week 13. For the playoffs Henne faces NYJ, @MIA and NEP.

Colin Kaepernick SF 16-25-231-1, 6-27-1
QB controversy in SF? Kap put up average passing numbers, with 1 INT. He did make it up on the ground with a rushing TD. It will be interesting to see who leads the 49ers onto the field in the coming weeks. Kaepernick is the future, but Smith has been playing well most of the year. He is worth a pick up from the wire (if he is still there). Week 13 vs @STL, followed by MIA, @NEP and @SEA for the playoff weeks.

Other notables: Ryan Tannehill MIA 18-26-253-1, Ryan Lindley ARI 31-52-312

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
Beanie Wells ARI 17-48-2
He shouldn’t be on the wire, but if he happens to be available, his 2 TD vs STL might be the punch a team needs to carry them through the playoffs. Week 13 he faces NYJ and his playoff match ups feature @SEA, DET and CHI.

Knowshon Moreno DEN 20-85, (4)4-26
Could this be the last hoorah for Moreno? He stepped up on Sunday vs KC and ran for 85 yards (4.2 YPC). His start and performance was a huge surprise and with McGahee done for the year and Hillman unimpressive, Moreno could be another strong pick up going forward. Week 13 DEN plays TB. For the playoffs he plays @OAK, @BAL and CLE.

Bilal Powell NYJ 12-40-1, (3)2-13
Powell received a majority of the goal line looks and for a second week, he cashed in scoring on a 4-yard TD run. Powell finished with 12 carries (2 fewer than Greene). It looks as if the Jets will split carries between Powell and Greene going forward, but could continue to see the goal line carries. Week 13 NYJ play ARI. For the playoffs they are @JAX, @TEN and SD.

Dave Wilson NYG 6-13, (1)1-5
The Giants lost Andre Brown to a broken fibula, which leaves Wilson the backup to Bradshaw. As long as Wilson can hold on to the ball, he should see more reps on a weekly basis. He was a hot RB during the preseason, but lost some luster and Brown flourished. He could be a spot starter the rest of the way. Week 13 Giants at @WAS. During the playoffs the NYG play NOS, @ATL and @BAL.

Other notables: Justin Forsett HOU 5-87-1, Jacquizz Rodgers 10-49-1, (2)2-30

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Chris Givens STL (6)5-115-1
Amendola was limited on Sunday with a foot injury, which provided Givens with a chance to showcase his talents. He is a big play WR, who ended with 6 targets (5 catches) with 115 yards and 1 TD. Watch the status of Amendola, as Givens will be the recipient if Amendola is limited or out. Week 13 the Rams host SF. For the playoffs they are @BUF, MIN and @TBB.

Ryan Broyles DET (12)6-126
With Titus Young benched, Broyles made himself a target for Stafford who targeted him 12 times. If Young continues to cause team problems, Broyles will continue to see a majority of the snaps and worth a look. Week 13 DET plays IND. For the playoffs DET is @GBP, @ARI and ATL.

Cole Beasley DAL (13)7-68
Described as the “Cowboy’s version of Wes Welker” Beasley came out of nowhere and took advantage of the Ogletree being out and the injury to Miles Austin. Romo targeted him 13 times in Thuanksgiving. He is speedy and could continue to steal looking if the other Dallas WRs can’t go. Week 13 Dallas faces PHI. During the playoff weeks DAL is @CIN, PIT and NOS.

Other notables: Devone Bess MIA (9)7-129, T.Y. Hilton IND (3)3-33-1, Danario Alexander SDG (8)5-74, Pierre Garcon WAS (7)5-93-1

TIGHT END
Rob Housler ARI (11)8-82
Housler received a team high 11 targets as the inexperienced Lindley looked to his TE often on Sunday. With Lindley poised to be the potential starter, Housler could see more involvement in the Cardinals offense. Still not too impressive as a full time starter. Week 13 ARI plays @NYJ. The playoff match ups are @SEA, DET and CHI.

Other notables: None

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 #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.