2012 Watch List #6

2012 fantasy football watch listThe deeper we get into the fantasy football season, the more clear the picture should get. Unfortunate that does not seem to be the case this season. Injuries continue to wreck havoc for some owners, which in turn has them scrambling to find replacements. Injured this week Bob3, Jerome Simpson, Martellus Bennett, Cedric Benson, Jermichael Finley and Jimmy Graham to name some. Toss into the equation the start of the BYE weeks and that could leave some owners coming up just a bit short. My take on BYE weeks, you should have planned coverage during the draft, not via the waiver wire, but that is an old school philosophy

Week 5 is finishes tonight and you should have some idea how your season is shaping up. With approximately 8 weeks remaining even an 0-5 team or 1-4 team have a chance at glory. The wire also becomes a bit thinner as the season rolls along. Many names appearing are probably castoffs that have been added and dropped numerous times. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a gem to add to your roster, it just becomes a bit more challenging. At this point, you have some idea who is expendable on your team to drop, if you are struggling you might look at changing it up and taking a chance. BYEs in week 6; Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans.

With that said, here is the watch list as we go into week 6 of the NFL.

QUARTERBACK
Christian Ponder MIN 11-35-258-2-2 3-31
I see his name come up almost weekly now, asking if he should be played. He has struggled at times this year, but has tossed 6 TDs in his last 3 of 4 games and is still without an INT. MIN has WAS , ARI and TB in the next 3 games. WAS is dead last in FPPG vs the pass.

Kevin Kolb ARI
Arizona is coming off their bye week and Kolb was battered vs STL. Kolb came up just short of throwing for 300 yards in back to back games. Prior to the STL game he had 5 TDs in 2 games. Arizona has a nice match up vs BUF and Kolb could be a solid starter for a bye week cover as the Bills are near the bottom vs the pass.

Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 16-26-126-0-1
>His performance vs SF was forgettable, so put it behind and look toward the Arizona Cardinals who have surrendered 572 yards and 3 TDs in their last 2 games vs the pass. Fitzpatrick continues to turn the ball over too much, but as a bye week cover could produce some good numbers in the desert.

Brandon Weeden CLE 22-35-291-2-2
Forget the home opener to start the year for CLE and Weeden hasn’t been too terribly bad. Like many rookies, he is making some poor decisions that usually result in a turnover. he has surpassed 300 yards passing twice this year and has 2 multiple TD games. Trailing as the Browns have been doing he is needing to throw. Browns travel to Cincinnati in week 6.

Other notables:

RUNNING BACK (number in (#) represent targets)
Rashard Mendenhall PIT 14-81-1 (3)2-20
He shouldn’t be on the wire, but if he is then take a stab at him. His initial start was better than the replacements of Dwyer and Redman had done.

Alex Green GBP 9-55 (1)1-8
Green gets a bump as Cedric Benson left the game in the first quarter with a leg injury. The numbers are a bit misleading, as 41 yards of his 55 came on a 41 yard run late in the game. Watch the news on Benson, but Green could be the starter in week 6, unfortunately the Pack players HOU.

Other notables:

WIDE RECEIVER (number in (#) represent targets)
Andrew Hawkins CIN (13)5-47
While some were probably expecting bigger numbers vs MIA, Hawkins was targeted 13 (team high) times in the game by Dalton. Still, he has not had that break out game but week 6 they play CLE at home. He is a nice option as a BYE week cover.

Randall Cobb GBP (4)4-82-1
Cobb has a big upside, but the consistency seems to be the missing piece. He caught everything thrown his way this week, which included a TD. Some of his success was due to the fact Greg Jennings was still injured and not playing. This is back to back good games for Cobb, watch the news on Jennings. GB plays at HOU in week 6.

Jordan Norwood CLE (9)9-81
Look a Browns wide receiver who actually caught the ball. Finished the game with a career high 9 catches, but was starting in part due to injured to Massaquoi and Benjamin. He has some upside headed into week 6 vs Cincinnati.

Kendall Wright TEN (11)9-66
Need a PPR wide receiver? Wright could be the “right” guy as he continues to get a good number of targets a week and posted games of 7 and 9 receptions in the last 2 of 3 games. He continues to be targeted due to the fact Kenny Britt is limited.

Robert Meachem SDG (4)3-67-2
I am not sold on Meachem, haven’t been since his move to SD. Part of the reason was no rapport with Rivers through camp and the early part of the season. He only had 9 catches headed into the game vs NO and probably played with a chip on his shoulder. Consider him a risky pick up due to his inconsistency.

Other notables: Josh Gordon (8)2-82-2, Devery Henderson NOS (10)8-123-1

TIGHT END
Kyle Rudolph MIN (7)4-23-1
Rudolph continues a strong start to his rookie campaign as a favorite target, especially in the red zone for Christian Ponder. He scored his 4th TD on the year, but continues to be low on the yardage. He does bring a big upside in the number of red zone looks, he beats many of the TEs who are still under performing. MIN is at WAS in week 6.

Other notables: Heath Miller (5)4-41, Joel Dreessen DEN (4)4-21-1

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.

Are You Ready?

With the lockout now over, it’s a frenzied week of free agent signing and players moving to new teams as the NFL, while getting a very late start are opening training camps. many players are reporting to camp, as intended but there are always a few names, under contract who seem to buck the system. This is nothing new at all. Being “professional” and playing out a contact is not necessarily what some players do.

Take Titans running back, Chris Johnson who is scheduled to make $800,000 this year. He is now holding out and wanting a new contract. Now in his case I’ll agree his stats the past few years should be enough to secure a long term deal with Tennessee, but will management cave and restructure that deal this year or not?

The other notable who wants to play games is Philly wide receiver, DeSean Jackson. As the Eagles opening training camp today, Jackson was a no show. This rumor came from signal caller and now starter, Mike Vick, “DeSean just has some things to think about and some decisions to make that only himself can make.” DeSean lead the NFL in yards per reception last year, but his overall stats were not all that impressive (47-1056-6 TD).

This free agent frenzy seems to be dominated by the quaterback. The first name to secure a starting job in new colors was that of Tavaris Jackson, now in Seattle with Pete Carroll. Jackson probably got a bad deal in Minnesota when Favre signed a few years back and then Joe Webb got the starts late last season. So a new venue for Jackson could improve his situation.

More importantly his signing has set the tone, so to speak of what’s to come. Kevin Kolb, current Eagles back up QB doesn’t seem to be as hot a commodity as he once was. Arizona is still trying to work a trade to secure his services, but at what cost to the defense? I don’t believe Kolb is worthy of a starting job right now, especially with a short pre-season in new colors. This could be a huge task to achieve. I do believe the Cardinals need a QB as Hall and Skelton are not ready to call the signals.

Gone from Seattle is Matt Hasselbeck, the other QB signed yesterday with the Titans replacing Kerry Collins (retired) and Vince Young, who is one his way out as well. They did draft Jake Locker, but as a rookie is not ready as well. Tutelage under a veteran such as Hass would be a great thing for Jake who looks to be the future signal caller in town.

Other rumors have Donovan McNabb heading to Minnesota to take over the starting job, which would be great for the team, as they are still looking to secure the services of Sydney Rice. I believe if Rice signs, the McNabb deal will be finalized as well. This would also give ADP a legitimate QB, which could equate to another big year for Peterson.

Kyle Orton’s being run out of Denver in favor of Tim Tebow. I don’t believe Tebow is ready for “prime time” even after finishing last year as the starter. Orton is looking towards Florida and the Dolphins, but is asking for $6 million a year and a long term deal. It will be interesting to see if he gets that sort of deal done.

Today should be a bigger signing day as there are many unanswered questions and many potential deals to be made. The salary cap is the sticking point for many teams, we will see who ends up making the best moves (on paper at least) by the end of the day. Football is here, first preseason games take place August 11. In the words of Hank, “Are you ready for some football?”