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.

2011 Top 10 QB Rankings (Early)

The off season is often a slow period as fantasy owners await the start of the combines and NFL Draft before preparing for the upcoming season. It’s also a time we see fantasy outlets prep for mock drafts. While a bit premature, is it really ever too early?

While I have yet to participate in any mock drafts for the 2011 season, I have followed this off season more than I have any previous year (Thanks FFS!). That is partially due to the CBA, which has become a bit more messy in recent weeks.

I took some time reviewing a few online mock drafts and have put together my own top 10 list at each offensive position. My lists are created based off the league scoring from 2010, which you can read here as well as some prognostication (okay, guess) for the 2011 season. Considering we are still some 6 months away from the start of the first pre-season NFL games these lists are bound to change as we get closer to August.

As for my top ten players, I looked at their 2010 statistics, ranking them based on total fantasy points, yards, TDs, rating and their strength of schedule in 2011 based off 2010 records (courtesy of ESPN). As with most of my analysis, nothing is scientific! Sometimes it’s just a wild ass guess.

We will start with the QBs and move through the other offensive positions. Thankfully Russ Bliss has already provided his wisdom and insight with his Fantasy Football Rankings: Early Top 10 QB’s.

QB
Rodgers, Aaron: comes off a big Super Bowl performance, has some strong WRs, a good running game and solid defense.
Brady, Tom: even without a top WR, Brady continues to work wonders with the Pats offense, should be business as usual in 2011.
Brees, Drew: with a healthy running game and emergence of Jimmy Graham, Brees could see another big fantasy year.
Manning, Peyton: injuries decimated the offense in 2010, but Manning worked magic for Indy, healthy WRs he throws for 5000 yards.
Rivers, Philip: needs a healthy running game to supplement the pass attack, which was very good even lacking a #1 WR last season.
Vick, Mike: was Mr Do-It-All last year at QB, running and passing, but can he hold up for a full 16 game season?
Roethlisberger, Ben: missed 4 games in 2010 but had strong numbers the rest of the way.
Flacco, Joe: a year working with Boldin, I think this tandem can flourish in 2011.
Manning, Eli: has a core of good, young WRs with and a solid running game, should only improve.
Schaub, Matt: Foster took away some of the passing game, but a healthy AJ and Daniels could equate to a very good 2011 season.

Other notable QBs not included in the top 10, Matt Ryan (ATL) and Tony Romo (DAL) who was injured much of 2010. Based on his pre-injury performance and how Dallas addresses their running game, Romo could put up top 10 numbers in 2011. Some might question the position of Mike Vick in this list. As was brought up on Fantasy Football Starters, the position of Vick on any list is really dependent on the scoring system. Given the right system, he might slide into the top five.