Week six brings a host of wide receivers back to fantasy nation from the bye week. Don't forget to move Antonio Brown, Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon back into your lineups. Only two teams on bye this week, Atlanta and Miami. The Falcons need to sort out their receiver situation with Julio Jones out for the season and Roddy White suffering a setback in week four. The Dolphins have been one of the surprise teams this season and Mike Wallace was the top target this week in the entire NFL, a long way from his complaints in week one. This week's Thursday night game features the Bears hosting the New York GIants in Chicago.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In what is now the norm, another explosive week of performances by wide receivers across the league. If you are like most, you are using a WR in your flex position as the pass catchers have been more reliable than the dreaded running back by committee. If your league uses post season, load up on New Orleans and Atlanta which promises to be a high scoring shootout.