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 #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 #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