With two weeks now in the books, we may begin to trust what we are seeing. Surprises that did it again are for real, those that didn't contributed toward your loss and will become a casualty of this week's moves. We had a numer of injuries in week two, most coming at running back which can be quite painful. If you were hoping for a veteran to bounce back after a slow start, and he didn't, in some cases he won't be. In my 25+ years of playing fantasy football, I find this stage of the season also brings the most trading of the year. Can trading hurt your league? Three of my four "big unit" leagues do not allow trading this season. While I prefer to trade, judging from baseball, this is probably protecting me... from myself.
Seasons can be won and lost on the waiver wire, perhaps more so in baseball but no matter the sport, the claims following week 1 are by far the best. Up until we see some real stats opening weekend, we must comb through the hundreds of expert opinions and browse the preseason box scores. While injury opportunties will provide leading free agent candidates all season long, week one settles some depth chart question marks.... well, sort of.
It's crunch time in fantasy nation and each and every starter can make or break your entire season. Is Danny Amendola back? Is Brandon Lloyd finally delivering like we expected he would all season? Can Danario Alexander be trusted? Is Torrey Smith still a legitimate starter and how about that concussion? Are Brandon Marshall and Victor Cruz in a funk? And have Michael Crabtree and Antonio Brown recovered with better quarterback play? Questions many of you are pondering as we approach week 16.
A seemingly never ending week of football started at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day and wrapped up Monday night at the Linc in Philadelphia. As we wind down and enter the fourth quarter of the season, the cream is certainly rising to the top. Many leagues are approaching the playoffs and the alwayys tricky managing of lineups as some teams look at young talent with their season's basically over, while others rest stars to keep them healthy for the post season.
Finally, full rosters for all with the bye weeks now behind us. Its time to make a playoff run, both real and fantasy and owners will be plugging in stars that enjoyed week 11 on bye. Some of the stars expected back in fantasy lineups include, Percy Harvin (healthy?), Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Sidney Rice, Kenny Britt and more. While the bye weeks are behind us, keep an eye on multiple Thursday games, Saturday games coming soon and the usual Sunday and Monday prime time action.
We head into the season's second half with only two bye weeks remaining. Those with week ten off include Larry Fitzgerald and Jordy Nelson, along with marginal fantasy talent in Cleveland and Washington. The good news is Wes Welker returns, the Jets, Niners and Rams do as well, but no surefire wide receiving talent reside with those clubs. Lets take a look at surprise producers in week nine, those that disappointed and the season totals for all that are averaging at least half a dozen targets a game.
Did you properly space your bye weeks during your draft or auction? It amazes me that so many owners, especially veterans, fail to track this all important consideration. Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans return from bye in week seven, with fantasy studs like Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall and any number of Saints wide receivers return to lineups. Have a dozen teams have week seven off, including Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego. Notable players you'll have to do without include dangerous duos on the Falcons, Eagles and Broncos, Dwayne Bowe and Malcolm Floyd. Of course the knife cuts both ways, perhaps you won't have to face these guys in your matchup this week.
As we roll into the second third of the season, fantasy teams welcome back stars from their bye week. Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Vincent Jackson and Calvin Johnson are a few of those back to inject life into receiving corps across NFL fantasy nation. While Dallas, Oakland, Tampa Bay and Detroit return, Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans have the week off. Owners of Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall and Marques Colston will have to do without, testing their reserve rosters. Reggie Wayne gets this week's honors as the top target, while Danny Amendola and Brian Hartline share the weekly "down to earth" award.
The number of targets a receiver gets is relative. Relative to what they had been getting and/or expected to get. While nine targets is a breakout performance for one receiver, it is a disappointment for elite fantasy receivers. Danny Amendola and Brian Hartline had nine targets in week three, which is most likely reflective of them dropping down towards a number we can more likely expect on a regular basis. Receivers like DeSean Jackson and Victor Cruz probably saw double teams in week three, with their regular partner at the position out with injury.
How did Kevin Ogletree work out for you? How about Stephen Hill? As one of the many fine writers here at the Alarm franchise pointed out recently, ride the studs! It's well known that rookie wide receivers often struggle. Players like Julio Jones and A.J. Green are freaks of nature, they are not the norm. Atlanta and Cincinnati, as well as the many fantasy owners that had Jones and Green as rookies, were well rewarded in 2011. Will Alshon Jeffery be a solid NFL receiver? probably so, but maybe not the extent of his SEC brethren, certainly not as quickly and more importantly, not as consistently.