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.
If you are reading this, chances are you are still alive in your playoff hunt. I helped create my league, back in the mid 1980's, before the Internet, before thoughts even crossed the mind of editors of including fantasy in books and magazines. Our regular season last 16 weeks, with all tie breakers taking place in week 17. If teams tie, they settle things in the final week, no head to head or points scored to determine who gets in, head to head on the field. Six of 12 teams in our league make the post season and I'll share that with you when we look at running backs and tight ends.
Week 14 is the beginning of the playoffs for many teams, crunch time baby! It's also the time of the year when we begin to see teams starting to rest starters for the post season. We also have to be concerned that the have nots will be taking a look at youngsters for next season. Most importantly, as we navigate December, every player has various bumps and bruises, just some are in worst shape that others.
With the season now a month old, numbers begin to have more meaning. Injuries continue to play a role and make up a majority of the movers and shakers on the waiver wire. As always, stick with the studs like Larry Fitzgerald. If someone new moves to the forefront, maybe wait a week and see if they can turn a repeat performance. We waded into the byes in week four with only a pair of teams off with Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay taking a break in week five.
If you are in distressed with your wide receivers or have poorly planned your bye weeks, you are in luck! We have more emerging pass catchers this week than at any other time this season. While some may be replacing former “one week wonders” on your roster, at least there are some options. We have aging vets showing they have something left in the tank and also young bucks stretching their wings. As with any passing game, quarterback play is greatly impacting the success wide outs are having converting their opportunities into receptions. As a reminder, make sure you check the bye weeks of your potential pickups as you don’t want to end up picking up a bye replacement that is on an off week.
If there is a GOD of Fantasy Football targets it has to be Wes Welker. The diminutive New England possession receiver was targeted TWENTY times by Tom Brady in Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Patriot caught 16 of the tosses and leads our weekly and season list. Atlanta’s Roddy White was a close second as Matty Ice looked his way 17 times as the Falcons tried to come back in the loss to Tampa Bay. When evaluating targets, there are the raw totals and also upside potential from those receivers that are only converting a faction of the opportunities, which is hidden in a box score.