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.
As we wind down the 2011 regular season, we have some receivers that have long promised with potential that are finally delivering. Youngsters like Demaryius Thomas and Michael Crabtree are a pair in particular who are showing why they were high first round draft picks. “High profile” receivers who “killed” owners in week 14 were Calvin Johnson and Greg Jennings (injury). The season long battle for “top target” among wide receivers continues with Roddy White and Wes Welker separated by only two.
An outstanding week for receivers in the NFL with no fewer than thirteen wide outs targeted ten or more times. While many familiar names populate the leaders, many new faces making the most of their opportunity or at least a major part of their team’s game plan. This comes on a week with historically solid passing teams like New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Houston and Indianapolis were on a bye week.
Another wild week tracking wide receiver targets as last week’s stars disappear and new players emerge. Exciting, must have free agent targets like the Giants Victor Cruz, Jason Avant of the Eagles, the Steelers Antonio Brown, Green Bay’s James Jones and Carolina’s Legedu Naanee all were big time fantasy disappointments after “break out” performances in Week Six. Big “money” receivers are also returning from injury, giving owners the points they have been hoping for, or better yet deserve! New waiver pickups have also emerged and we’ll break down who they are and who is “delivering” with given opportunity.